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Market Review | Bourbon & Hospitality: Spirits and money pouring in

Louisville has a new brand, a new distillery destination and an added boost in tourism in 2017.

Angel’s Envy opened at the end of 2016 downtown following a $27 million renovation to the former Vermont American and Baer Fabrics Warehouse on East Main. The gorgeous structure includes a visitor center with a gift shop, and a fully functioning distillery, meaning that everything in the production of Angel’s Envy bourbon, from milling grains to bottling the finished product, happens on site.

And that’s only the beginning of what has Louisville’s status as a tourist destination and economic grower ever evolving. But it’s a big one, with bourbon and Angel’s Envy on the leading edge of this growth.

Plans for the new distillery were first put forth by the late distiller Lincoln Henderson and have been several years in the making.

“Opening the Angel’s Envy distillery and visitor’s center in downtown Louisville was a dream Dad and I had,” Wes Henderson, Angel’s Envy chief innovation officer, said. “He would be so proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

It isn’t going unnoticed, if a recent study by Longwoods International is any indication. The study showed that visits to Louisville rose 4 percent to 24.2 million from 2014 to 2015, adding $1.235 billion in spending, increase of 10 percent over the previous year. 

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