Warehouse to be converted into a boutique hotel. (Branden Klayko)
Warehouse to be converted into a boutique hotel. (Branden Klayko)
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A four-story brick warehouse at 822 South Floyd Street is set to be transformed into a boutique hotel catering to Louisville’s gay community. The Courier-Journal reported recently that businessman George Stinson, owner of Connections bar and partner in the Kentucky Theater Marketplace on Fourth Street, plans to create Vu, a $3 million, 55-room boutique hotel inside the 1860s-era property.

Warehouse to be converted into a boutique hotel. (Branden Klayko)
Warehouse to be converted into a boutique hotel. (Branden Klayko)

The 18,000 square foot warehouse located just south of College Street in the Smoketown-Jackson Park neighborhood was once a cigar and twist chewing tobacco factory for the Ryan Hampton Tobacco Company. The interior features wide open spaces with large wood-post columns common in many of the city’s old warehouses.

Project plans also call for meeting rooms, a lounge, a small restaurant, a lounge, and a health facility. Stinson has no construction timeline in place, but told the C-J he hoped to get started by the end of the year. Rooms are expected to be priced at $150 to $175 a night.

Inside the Ryan Hampton Tobacco Company in 1914. (Courtesy KY Historical Society)
Inside the Ryan Hampton Tobacco Company in 1914. (Courtesy KY Historical Society)
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Branden Klayko

13 COMMENTS

  1. I love this, however, I can’t imagaine dumping any amount of money into anything bricks and morter with a downtown bridge looming. If that thing goes through, this city is done for.

  2. @jimmy – Look on the bright side; Its great that someone is willing to make such a big investment an area that isn’t exactly up and coming. This hotel could become (hopefully one of several) the anchor for the revitalization of the Smoketown-Jackson neighborhood. Think positive, dear friend!

  3. this is an exciting project in a neighborhood that’s only going to keep getting better! would love to have worked with mr stinson on this one, but i’m sure he’s enlisted a good team.

  4. What does it mean that the hotel will be catering to the gay community? Are they intending on turning away straight patrons?

  5. I had to look up what a ’boutique hotel’ is. It’s basically a B&B and hotel rolled into one.

    I’m personally excited about the preservation aspects of this, and that this could begin creating another NuLu.

  6. Originally Posted By JoshWhat does it mean that the hotel will be catering to the gay community? Are they intending on turning away straight patrons?

    Yes. Blacks and lepers as well. They really want to keep it nice, see.

    Seriously though, it’s more about how they will market the place (what magazines, websites will see advertising funds). Also, as a community, this niche market tends to have more disposable income, and many gay folk are happy to pay more to support gay-owned businesses. Without going after a niche market, this is just a hotel in the hood. By catering to the gay community, folks would actually go out of their way to spend $150 a night to sleep in Smoketown.

    Agree with Steve’s enthusiasm about the preservation aspect and what it could mean for the future of the area. Would not be the first time the gays have moved into a struggling area and spured a neighborhood renaissance.

  7. One more attempt by George Stinson to swindle the gay community of Louisville out of it’s hard earned money. Despite being one of the richest gay men in the city, he has never donated to the Louisville AIDS Walk even though white, gay, men are still the largest demographic of those affected by the disease. He doesn’t care about the local gay community or communities in general, he’s a businessman first.

  8. This project would not be happening if the nearby Sheppard Square housing project was not being replaced with a mixed income neighbourhood. Concentration of poverty is never good for a city.

  9. @Steve Magruder
    A family member of mine helps organize this walk every year. She is involved in fundraising for the event. Other smaller gay establishments, Teddy Bears for example, has no problem donating each and every year. George Stinson has never donated a cent despite being contacted by the organizers of the walk.

  10. Tho close to downtown, the building is is in a somewhat obscure part of the city, which makes it a good location for a gay establishment.

    Gays with the disposable income to be able to afford a place like this are somewhat closeted (or wouldn’t be able to get the good-paying jobs to generate that kind of income), so out-of-the-way locations like this could be a good marketing pitch, esp. to out-of-town visitors who still want to keep it on the down-low when visitng a different city.

    I don’t really see Smoketown coming back as so much of that place has been wiped out by low density industrial/commercial development combined with that big housing projects. There are few fragments of the neighborhood that survive from at least the early/mid 1870s, but these are on the eastern and southern edges of the place, more along Lampton & Clay streets.

  11. You certainly need to check your facts Guy. I personally know George and you have absolutely no idea all that he has done for this community. He was a principal in the original Community Health Trust in the fight against aids! He has not only given thousands to the Gay community and the community at large, but has donated space for for many fund raising functions at no cost to those organizations. He founded the Glade house and did donate to the Louisville Aids walk when the funds went to Gay organizations administering care to affected gay people long before it became a corporate sponsored event with a multi million dollar budget. He has been involved with many upstarts for many organizations. A very large contributor to MCC church, Pandora Productions, Louisville Gay Youth Group and most recently Williams Nichols Institute Gay archives at the University Of Louisville. Not everyone is concerned about tooting there own horn about the good they have done – so I have tooted for him about just a few……get your facts straight “Mary” and try to be a more positive influence in your community instead of trying to down people that you have no knowledge of….- and HE was also appointed, by the Governor to be the Chairman of the Kentucky Human Rights Commission!!! organization @Guy

  12. George is one of the worst people in this community. It will be a nasty sex hotel before long.

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