First hotel in Lexington’s Distillery District officially opens

First hotel in Lexington’s Distillery District officially opens
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 3:15 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The new Manchester Hotel is officially open in Lexington’s Distillery District.

“We are thrilled this day has arrived. A day in which we will welcome guests for the first time into a property in which we are extremely proud,” said developer Nik Feldman at the grand opening ceremony Friday morning.

The hotel developers say its opening ushers in a new era of hospitality to Lexington. The $40 million project, Feldman says, was done in less than 18 months and exceeds their expectations.

“Without the shared vision of so many, we would not be standing here today,” said Feldman.

Feldman says all 125 rooms are booked for this weekend as the city hosts a myriad of events like baseball and softball tournaments and the Railbird festival.

“This was a bit unexpected for an opening weekend, but we’ll be ready to handle it well,” said Feldman. “We have a wonderful operations team. So we’re ready to give top-level service.”

The Manchester is the first hotel to be built in the Distillery District. It’s complete with a rooftop bar and a design said to be geared toward Lexington’s culture.

“It’s become its own destination area within Lexington,” said Kevin Atkins, chief development office for the City of Lexington.

Atkins says the hotel is part of a greater plan. Later this year, they hope to break ground on Town Branch Park, which will essentially connect the end of the convention center to the Distillery District.

He says investments like these bring in more businesses that further boost the economy.

“This is the kind of environment that those companies want. They want a quality place. Things for their employees to do in their off hours. The investments that the city made in the Rupp Arena area and the convention center helped lead to this and this will spawn more investment moving forward.”

Even though The Manchester Hotel’s doors are open, staff says there’s still more to come. In October, they’ll open 17,000 square feet of event space and they hope to add more components like a spa and another restaurant.