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Look What’s Coming to Northern Kentucky

From a new venue and a revitalized racing track to improved community parks, this community is becoming an even more attractive place to live.

By Brittany Anas on February 11, 2022

PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION

To keep up with the area’s growing population, Northern Kentucky has a number of in-the-works and recently completed projects in place to further improve the area’s quality of life and bolster its economy. From a new entertainment venue to revitalized community parks, this community is becoming an even more attractive place to live. Let’s check out what is blooming in the region. 

The Perfect Pavilion 

Music lovers, do we have a treat for you. Newport is now home to the new PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION, a cutting-edge concert spot that opened in August 2021.

Since the venue’s first show, many concertgoers have raved how the view outdoors is unmatched, and there isn’t a bad “seat” in the place, whether you are indoors or outdoors, says Tom Banta, managing director with Corporex, developer of the project. 

Rock Inside and Outside!

The new pavilion is an indoor-outdoor music venue that offers year-round entertainment. It can accommodate an indoor audience of 2,700 and an outdoor audience of 7,000. It is estimated to draw 350,000-400,000 fans to the region each year. 

As a world-class venue, the Pavilion at OVATION has state-of-the-art lighting, A-plus acoustics and an innovative reversible and movable stage. “The extraordinary outdoor design allows for larger shows during the summer in a unique and exciting setting, while indoor space can be used for concerts and events of all types year-round,” Banta says. 

But this is just the first act for the area. PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION is the catalyst for a much larger project and vision for the Northern Kentucky region. 

Ovation project

Rising Along the River

The Ovation project is a 25-acre urban mixed-use development that sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers and is centrally located along Northern Kentucky’s riverfront between Covington and Newport.

Ovation will grow over three phases to include approximately 500,000 square feet of office space, 1,000 residential units, 524 hotel rooms and 125,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space, as well as an Ovation Membership Club. 

This state-of-the-art health and wellness club will feature a full-service spa, group exercise classes, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and floors dedicated to both cardio and free weights, all nestled around a heated roof deck pool. The club will also include event space for meetings, a member’s lounge, and an indoor-outdoor bar for entertaining or to simply meet a friend for a drink. 

A rear-facing rendering of Turfway Park Racing & Gaming
Churchill Downs Incorporated

Off to the Races 

Also making waves in the region is Churchill Downs, which is working to add to Kentucky’s horse racing industry by investing $145 million to revitalize Turfway Park Racing & Gaming, a track in Florence. 

This project will include a new building, along with a historical racing machine facility that features up to 1,500 machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, food and beverage venues, and a new inner dirt track to complement its existing 1-mile synthetic main racetrack. 

The park, which is estimated to be completed by the summer of 2022, will create 800 construction jobs and 400 permanent positions. “With Turfway Park Racing & Gaming, area residents and visitors will have a world-class racing and gaming facility perfectly situated to conveniently serve them,” says Tonya Abeln, vice president of corporate communications for Churchill Downs. 

Turfway will be home to the largest simulcast wagering area in the state with VIP player amenities, she says. 

Erlanger Park in Northern Kentucky
City of Erlanger

Projects in the Parks 

Communities throughout Northern Kentucky are also working to improve the region by investing in their park systems. 

For instance, in May 2021, Wilder debuted City Center Park with a variety of amenities, including a playground, a splash pad, a half-court basketball court, a tennis practice wall, two pickleball courts and sand volleyball courts. A concession stand is also available during summer months. 

Erlanger city leaders are focused on investing more in their community parks, as well, after the pandemic proved the importance of available outdoor spaces. The community’s numerous parks range from small neighborhood spaces where you can shoot hoops to larger parks where residents can fish or play sand volleyball.

And Walton’s Parks and Recreation division has been building “pocket parks,” or small parks, in neighborhoods, in addition to a larger community park and a popular dog park. The High Street Pocket Park, for example, is a local favorite that provides residents with a basketball court, swings, slides, a merry-go-round and more. 

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