KY Derby Museum Celebrates Record Growth

(The famed Twin Spires / Photo by Gene McLean)

From the KY Derby Museum Media Team:

Kentucky Derby Museum is celebrating record growth, with attendance rising 11% in its fiscal year. The Museum saw a whopping 242,841 visitors come through the doors, an increase of 23,843 visitors from the previous fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. The Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop also saw an increase in sales of 13%.

Other impressive figures over the last fiscal year:

  • Kentucky Derby Museum has sold 6,928 Mint Julep glasses
  • Served 7,127 Mint Juleps through catering and Derby Cafe Express
  • Hosted 350 events, including rehearsal dinners, weddings, corporate events and more
  • Sold 3,156 hats and fascinators in our gift shops inside the Museum and The Churchill Downs Store
  • Guided 7,835 tours at historic Churchill Downs

“The Kentucky Derby Museum is one of the city’s iconic attractions drawing both leisure and convention travelers looking for an authentic Louisville experience,” Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism said. “This celebratory milestone is a testament to how well the Museum serves our visitors with one-of-a-kind opportunities to enjoy the thrills and traditions of the legendary Kentucky Derby.”

In October 2018, Kentucky Derby Museum completed a $6.8 million expansion project, the largest since the Museum was built in 1985. The expansion project was instrumental in the spike in attendance. This project created and renovated a total of 16,000 square feet of new event space, exhibit areas, and a floor of administrative offices and meeting rooms. The new exhibit spaces featuring legendary trainers D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Bill Shoemaker brought in thousands of interested visitors, while our flexible indoor and outdoor event spaces piqued the interest of brides and the corporate world. With the addition of the new event spaces, the number of events held at the Museum spiked 27%.

“Kentucky Derby Museum is in a great position to continue this momentum,” said Patrick Armstrong, President & CEO. “Our $6.8 million expansion is a hit with visitors, and proving to be a fruitful investment in our success and future. We are proud of our hard work, and look forward to breaking more records ahead! We are grateful to continue sharing the rich history of the Kentucky Derby with the Kentuckiana community and the world.”

Kentucky Derby Museum continues to grow, adding specialty tours, like its Horse Farms Tours, a new Fire & Bourbon Dinner, and a VIP Thurby lounge for race fans.
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About Kentucky Derby Museum (DerbyMuseum.org):

Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(C)(3) non-profit public charity organization in Louisville, Kentucky that has a commitment to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EXCITE everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the KENTUCKY DERBY.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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