Property is expected to generate 187 full-time jobs, 95 part-time jobs
NEWPORT, Ky. (Oct. 20, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined state and local officials and leaders from Margaritaville and North American Properties (NAP) to celebrate the proposed $133.6 million Margaritaville hotel coming to Newport on the Levee. The property is expected to generate 282 new jobs – 187 full-time jobs and 95 part-time jobs – for Campbell County, with construction estimated to be completed in 2026.
“With exciting projects like Margaritaville coming to Kentucky, we are only adding fuel to our red-hot tourism industry and economy,” said Gov. Beshear. “This property will help drive visitors to the Campbell County area, boosting the local economy and creating 282 new jobs for Kentuckians. We are thankful to these leaders who are choosing to bet their future on Kentucky and our amazing workforce.”
Newport Hotel Associates LLC, a joint venture partnership between NAP, Stormont Hospitality Group and High Street Real Estate Partners, will be developing a Margaritaville hotel. The family-friendly entertainment destination will be located at Newport on the Levee in Campbell County, fronting the Ohio River.
“This area holds a special place in Margaritaville, so we look forward to opening our doors on the Ohio River,” said Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, chief marketing officer at Margaritaville. “The casual-luxe accommodations, instant escapism and world-class hospitality synonymous with Margaritaville hotels and resorts will be the perfect addition to this welcoming community, picturesque skyline and bustling destination.”
The full-service, amenity-rich hotel will feature 264 rooms, multiple Margaritaville food and bar concepts, a pool overlooking downtown Cincinnati, retail space and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a rooftop offering.
“The Margaritaville hotel will bring a taste of Key West to Northern Kentucky,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “Between the island-inspired accommodations, generous event space, restaurants and a pool, this hotel will be a wonderful asset for tourism in Newport and the Northern Kentucky area.”
Upon the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Newport Hotel Associates received preliminary approval on Sept. 20 from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority for incentives totaling nearly $33.4 million for the project. The project now moves to final approval.
Through the Tourism Development Act, qualifying tourism development projects can recover up to 25% of approved development costs through the recovery of sales tax generated by the development. This year, the commonwealth has given final approval to nine tourism development projects for an estimated economic investment of $301.2 million.
Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli is excited to see the tourism development project’s impact on the community: “Governor Beshear’s personal commitment and relentless advocacy has helped us secure the essential tourism tax credit, a state incentive that paves the way for the Margaritaville hotel to become a reality right here in Newport, Kentucky.”
Newport City Manager Tom Fromme highlighted the excitement around the new tourism development project: “Margaritaville ranks as one of Newport’s most exciting developments over the past 20 years. Without a doubt, it will be a huge attraction and create a tremendous economic ripple throughout the region.”
President and CEO of meetNKY Julie Kirkpatrick welcomed Margaritaville and explained why Newport is the perfect location for the development: “We are thrilled that the upcoming Margaritaville hotel has chosen Northern Kentucky as its new home. With our stunning riverfront views, welcoming hospitality and lively cultural scene, this region stands out as the perfect location for a Margaritaville hotel. Newport, a pivotal player in NKY’s $1.95 billion tourism industry, is perfectly positioned to offer visitors an enhanced experience along the Kentucky riverfront.”
Tourism is a $12.9 billion industry in Kentucky, generating 91,668 jobs across the commonwealth. In Campbell County, tourism supports 1,024 jobs and generated over $179 million in economic impact in 2022, a 9% increase from 2021.
Newport Hotel Associates’ tourism investment builds on recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, including within the tourism industry.
In August, Gov. Beshear announced 2022 was the best year on record for Kentucky tourism, with $12.9 billion generated in economic impact and 91,668 jobs. That year, 75.9 million travelers visited Kentucky, spending $8.9 billion across the commonwealth, according to a study by Tourism Economics. More than $937 million in state and local taxes were generated, equating to a $536 tax savings for every Kentucky household.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced nearly 900 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $27.5 billion in announced investments, creating 48,000 jobs. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.
Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
NAP acquired Newport on the Levee in December 2018 and completed a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the 23-year-old mixed-use destination in May 2021, transforming the underutilized asset into a walkable, connected community. It is now home to an ever-growing collection of experiential offerings unique to Northern Kentucky and plays host to more than 100 annual community-driven events. For more information about Newport on the Levee, visit newportonthelevee.com.
A detailed community profile for Campbell County can be viewed here. Information about Campbell County tourism is available at meetnky.com.
For more information on the Margaritaville project, visit here.
For the latest Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. To learn more about the cabinet or for information relating to tourism development projects, visit tah.ky.gov.