Things are going to get a little tight again at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) for the Louisville Show, Nov. 28-30, as the state completes a $52 million renovation of the sprawling convention complex.
While the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) allocated a record 811,000 square feet to manufacturers and suppliers last year as the new South Wing opened, some 168,000 square feet has been taken out of play this year as the KEC’s East Wing is being remodeled.
“I’ve been working on space allocations and some of the manufactures took into account that there would be less space this year than last,” said Mary “Mike” Hutya, RVIA vice president of meetings and shows. “There will be some deep cuts in what some of the manufacturers have asked for, but we have a formula. The allocations will be smaller than they have in the past.”
Even when the renovation is completed next year, RVIA will be bumping up against the KEC’s capacity, Hutya said, with little relief in sight.
“Once they get finished with the East Wing, their next project will be getting a flagship hotel built connected to the facility by a walkway,” Hutya said. “That has been on the planning board for a long time, and it was reconfirmed in February. Right now, there are no plans to expand the convention center again.”
Although RVIA at times has considered alternate sites, the board recently directed Hutya to sign a contract to keep the annual show the week after Thanksgiving at the KEC through 2010.