LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After four years of planning and more than two years of construction, the Omni Louisville Hotel finally opens for business today.
The Omni is the city's tallest hotel, standing at 30 floors.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony began at 11 a.m., kicked off with a version of "My Old Kentucky Home."
General Manager Scott Stuckey opened the event by telling a crowd of 300 or so mostly Louisvillians that the hotel won't just be for travelers.
"We're expecting a huge turnout from the local residents of Louisville," he said.
Opening his own remarks by citing the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, an enthusiastic Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin moved on to gush about both the hotel and the future of the city of Louisville.
"We are blessed indeed," Bevin said. "This is truly a crown jewel in our city. We are on the verge of increasing greatness. We've seen the transformation."
Omni Louisville Hotel is a $315 million investment by Omni Hotels and Resorts and Metro Louisville. The project has created nearly 400 permanent jobs. Eight-hundred people helped build the hotel.
"We wanted a partner with a one-of-a-kind hotel experience," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "We wanted a company that was dedicated to the spirit of our city ... There was really only one company that was ready and willing to dream with us and help us craft the future of our city. The folks at Omni believed in our city, believed in our people."
Louisville residents, philanthropists and military veterans Sheila and Darrell Brookins were welcomed as the Omni's first officials guests in front of nearly 300 people.
"It's amazing," Sheila Brookins said. "They've got a bowling alley. They've got everything in here. It's beautiful. I think it's going to be a great asset to the Louisville business community, for jobs and different things. It's going to be amazing."
People like Sharon Carter came to check out the hotel on Tuesday.
"It's wonderful," she said. "It looks like it could be a small city in itself with all that it offers. My son is here to check out the grocery and to check out the restaurants."
Below are a few noteworthy facts about the Omni Louisville Hotel's amenities:
+ 612 finely appointed guest rooms and suites
+ 225 luxury apartments
+ Approximately 70,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, with access to an additional 300,000 square-feet of meeting and exhibit space at the Kentucky International Convention Center
+ Lobby art gallery
+ Dining options include a three-meal-a-day restaurant, lobby lounge, rooftop pool bar and grill, as well as an iconic Bob's Steak & Chop House as the hotel's fine-dining establishment
+ Speakeasy with bowling alley
+ Dynamic 20,000 square-foot modern urban lifestyle market connected to the hotel lobby
+ On-site signature Mokara spa, fitness center and rooftop pool deck