Lexington KY Horse Park Hotel Details

Posted by Jennifer Karlen on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 9:07pm.

[Editor's note: I continue to receive feedback from persons visiting this Louisville & Lexington Kentucky Horse Farms For Sale website that they would like more information and stories regarding the Kentucky Horse Park, the World Equestrian Games in 2010, etc. - so I am continuing to write more articles regarding those topics.

If you have a topic of particular interest regarding horses, Kentucky horse farms for sale, or anything pertaining to the equestrian communities in KY - just let me know, and I will try to address your requests in upcoming stories of interest. Thanks!]

lexington-ky-horse-park_217The Lexington KY newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader published a story on February 21 2008 regarding more details for the proposed KY Horse Park Hotel. The topic of the feature was primarily the involvement of one of the 2 development suitors for the project: Steve Branscum from Russelville Kentucky.

To give some background, in March 2007 the Bluegrass Equine and Tourism Foundation (BETF) was created to construct a luxury hotel at the Kentucky Horse Park. One of the founding members was Steve Branscum. He has since departed from the board of that entity, at the suggestion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reduce the number of persons that were on the board of directors for the organization - but now one of Mr. Branscum’s companies is now one of the 2 proposed real estate development groups being considered for the construction of the estimated $90 million project. Some persons are questioning whether its truly an arms length transaction at this point. Brad Burgess, a representative from the Thayer Group which is leading the project for the hotel development with Boorn Partners, has simply attributed it to Mr. Branscum’s continued interest in the equestrian park and in seeing a hotel being made a part of that real estate development. Mr. Burgess has been a resident of Lexington Kentucky since moving from Florida 6 years ago.

Mr. Burgess also was one of the founding members of the Bluegrass Equine and Tourism Foundation (BETF) in March 2007 last year at this time. 2 weeks after forming that organization, a new company was formed called KHPWESLUX (yes, it really is called that). The KHPWESLUX company then began to solicit the KY Horse Park hotel project, and beat out real estate developers Corporex who are based in Northern Kentucky.

After all expenses are paid for the hotel, any profits will be distributed to tourism and equine & equestrian organizations in Kentucky. And 42 years after the hotel’s construction, the facility will become owned in its entirety by the state of Kentucky.

KHPWESLUX is receiving a $5 million development fee for providing their expertise and overseeing the development of the project, which Mr. Burgess points out is well below their normal 7% rate that they charge normally. He attributes the reduced fee to the lower risk involved for this project.

Architect costs for the Lexington KY architecture firm of Sherman, Carter, Barnhart are expected to be $1.6 million for the design and scope of the vision for the real estate development.

Construction costs are projected to be $51 million for Branscum Construction who will be working with Kraus Anderson who are from Minneapolis for the project. And the construction management fee is $2.4 million.

If you look at it from a larger perspective, its not unusual for horse persons and equestrian enthusiasts to run in the same circles. And for persons to share a common interest of seeing a project come to fruition, it makes sense that persons would volunteer and join other organizations to do whatever is needed to see that the dream comes to reality. Expertise is needed for project, and these individuals bring with them a lot of respect within the industry, and I’m certain they will produce a finished project that will appeal to the equestrian communities in Kentucky, and blend in with the various Kentucky horse farms that are adjoining along the countryside of the KY Horse Park.