Recession Takes Toll On Derby Week

Derby week festivities have not been immune to the economic downturn.

Convention and Tourism Bureau CEO Jim Wood says people are still coming to Louisville and spending money this week, but not as much as in previous years.

“What we’re seeing is a shift from people coming in from the west coast, the east coast, a little bit of a regional drop. Folks regionally will spend a little bit less during their entertainment period here for the derby,” he says.

Hotels are usually full for Derby, but occupancy this year is down to about 85%. Wood estimates the Derby’s total economic impact will be about $100 or $105 million, down from the usual $121 million.