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Paducah hotel and Maker's Mark Distillery approved for tourism tax rebate incentives

Staff report

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved incentives for the downtown Paducah hotel this week.  Maker's Mark Distillery was also given the green light for tourism incentives in order to build a welcome center in Marion County.

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 received approval for a new $2.03 million welcome center in Loretto, 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. 

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