Lexington’s hotels, restaurants prepare for busy weekend

Lexington’s hotels, restaurants prepare for busy weekend
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 3:02 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We are days away from a very busy weekend in Lexington.

The Railbird Festival is back, and there’s a lot going on in the sports world, including the NCAA baseball regional being hosted at the University of Kentucky. Because of this, area hotels are nearly all booked up, and restaurants are busy prepping.

“I’m looking forward for all of my servers, all of my front-of-the-house employees to make good money this weekend,” said Jennifer Dee, assistant manager at Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom in Hamburg.

Folks in the hospitality industry say they’re excited and ready for the big crowds.

“We have been preparing for the entire week, so our prep cooks have been doubling and tripling what they do normally,” said Dee.

Dee says she always stays up to date on big events coming to town, so she can adjust her employees’ schedules as needed.

“Every single employee that works for us is scheduled for the weekend,” said Dee.

Across the street from the restaurant are several hotels getting ready for hundreds of guests, including the Holiday Inn. General Manager Alison Chenet says Saturday is the busiest day for all of their properties.

“Georgetown, Richmond, Lexington. No IHG property has a room available,” said Chenet.

Chenet says there’s such limited availability that even when UK Athletics reached out about rooms for the athletes and they couldn’t accommodate them.

She says, because of the demand, their weekend rates are also up to nearly $300 per night. On room revenue alone, she says they expect to make upwards of $24,000, a huge economic boost.

“It’s fun! We love when events like this come in because people are here to have fun,” Chenet said.

WKYT called other hotels to get an idea of their availability. For example, Home 2 Suites in Hamburg says they’re booked to capacity from Thursday to Sunday.

However, it’s not all bad news. Sleep Inn across the street says they still have rooms available Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Holiday Inn also has rooms available for Friday. If you’re still looking to book, Chenet does have some advice.

“Avoid those third parties. I know people love their booking.com and Expedia, and they are great deals a lot of the time, but on big events, when inventory is really limited, contact the hotel directly,” said Chenet.