Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Paducah Hotel and Maker’s Mark Welcome Center in Marion County Approved for Tourism Incentives

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 26, 2014  
Contact Information:  Gil Lawson,
502-564-4270, ext 168


FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority today approved incentives for two projects – a hotel development in Paducah and a distillery visitor center in Loretto.


Paducah Convention Hotel won approval for a 121-room downtown hotel that will be built next to the Paducah Expo Center and Carroll Convention Center. The $18 million project is expected to be a Hilton Garden Inn.


Maker’s Mark Distillery received approval for a new $2.03 million welcome center, which will also feature food services and expanded parking.


"These projects are important for the tourism economy in these communities as well as the state," Gov. Steve Beshear said. "These incentives will mean more jobs for Kentuckians and more tourism spending."

Reports on both applications found that they met the requirements necessary to receive incentives. This includes meeting a minimum expenditure requirement, being open more than 100 days a year, attracting at least 25 percent of visitors from outside the state by its fourth year of operation and having a positive net economic impact on the Kentucky economy.


“I am so pleased that the financial components supporting the downtown hotel project in Paducah are coming to fruition.  The tax credits through the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority are critical pieces for the hotel’s success,” Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler said.  “When the Hilton Garden Inn opens next year, Paducah will become one of the top cities in Kentucky for hosting conventions and attracting tourists.” 


The Paducah Convention Hotel will be eligible for up to $4.5 million in incentives and Maker’s Mark will be eligible for up to $506,000. The incentives are in the form of a rebate based on sales tax generated by the tourism attraction over a 10-year period.


“Marion County is very fortunate to have Maker’s Mark. It’s a wonderful tourist experience and the premier stop on the “Bourbon Trail,” said Marion County Judge-Executive John G. Mattingly. “The investment that Maker’s Mark is making in our community will help our local economy in a multitude of ways.”


The authority considers applications under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act, which allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of sales tax up to 25 percent of project capital costs.