Good morning: Here is a roundup of news in and around Louisville you may have missed.
Metro Council passes ordinance related to short-term rentals
The Metro Council on Thursday approved by a 23-1 vote an ordinance that creates restrictions on short-term rentals such as Airbnbs.
One new regulation prohibits a short-term rental in a new investor property within 600 feet of any other approved short-term rental in a residential neighborhood. In addition, signage advertising the residence as available for short-term rental is prohibited. The space must be a single-family residence, duplex or condominium. Unlike hotels and bed and breakfast operations, short-term rentals cannot provide food or alcohol to guests.
In addition, 29 consecutive days is the maximum allowable stay, while the number of guests is limited to two times the number of bedrooms, plus two. Fines are in place for those who violate the ordinance.
The Expedia Group, a travel technology platform that includes brands like Expedia.com, Orbitz.com and Hotels.com, had worked with the city to help frame the new parameters.
Philip Minardi, head of public affairs for Expedia, released this statement: “Louisville deserves a holistic short-term rental policy that addresses neighborhood concerns and keeps the door open for traditional vacation rental owners and travelers. This compromise achieves that important goal in a way that works for Louisville, its residents, and generations of traditional vacation rental travelers.” —Kevin Gibson
Local perfume company finalist for international award
“Colorado,” the first perfume from the small company – which represents craft perfumers around the U.S. – is one of six finalists in the independent category of the 6th annual Art and Olfaction Awards in Amsterdam. The awards ceremony is on May 2.
Boulder, Colo., perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz created the perfume for American Perfumer; she describes it as “the smell of sunshine in the forest and high mountain air. For me, it’s the scent of happiness in a bottle.”
The awards are designed to raise public interest and awareness surrounding new developments in independent perfumery and are awarded to creators in the categories of independent, artisan, and experimental perfume. —Kevin Gibson
Derby City Gaming, casino acquisition boost Churchill Downs revenue
Churchill Downs Inc. said its first-quarter revenue rose by 40% compared to the same quarter of last year thanks primarily to a casino purchase and the opening of Derby City Gaming, the historical racing facility on Poplar Level Road.
Derby City Gaming, opened in September, boosted revenue by $18.7 million and added $7.4 million in operating earnings. The Churchill Downs Racetrack actually recorded an earnings decline despite higher revenue.
The acquisition of the Presque Isle casino in Erie, Pa., also provided a significant revenue and profit boost.
Churchill Downs said its online wagering business saw essentially flat revenue and profitability, excluding costs related to the launch of online sports betting and iGaming operations.
However, income from continuing operations, which exclude the Big Fish Games unit, which the company sold last year, fell to $11.9 million, down 15.6 percent. Earnings fell primarily because of a higher income tax provision. Before taxes, income from continuing operations in this year’s first quarter was 10.2 percent higher than a year ago.
Churchill Downs posted earnings Wednesday after markets closed. On Thursday, shares rose 2.25 percent, closing at $94.23. The S&P 500 fell slightly. —Boris Ladwig
Polls show Bevin as least popular governor, McConnell as least popular senator
The national polling firm Morning Consult conducts surveys in all 50 states each quarter gauging the popularity of every governor and senator, and their latest numbers show that Gov. Matt Bevin and Sen. Mitch McConnell are the most disliked of them all.
Morning Consult’s polling of Kentucky through March 31 this year found that 32.5% of the registered voters surveyed approved of Bevin’s job performance, while 51.9% disapproved of him. His net 19-point disapproval fell well below the second least popular state executive — Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island — while he only netted a +14-point approval among Republican respondents.
The firm’s polling from the same period found that 36% of respondents in Kentucky approved of McConnell’s performance, while 50% disapproved. His disapproval percentage was 7 points below the second least popular senator, Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
Sen. Rand Paul fared better than Bevin and McConnell with 41% approving and 38% disapproving of his performance, though he was less popular than he was in each of the previous polls in Kentucky over the past two years.
Despite the poor numbers, many political observers still believe that Bevin and McConnell are favorites to win re-election in their next race, as Bevin is a strong favorite to win the Republican primary this May and face the winner of the Democratic primary this fall. McConnell will run for his seventh term as senator next year. —Joe Sonka
Run for the Unicorns starts this weekend
You know when they ask if you’d like to buy tickets for a conference with Droid Token that something out of the ordinary is afoot.
That would be the Run for the Unicorns conference in town for Derby Week. “Giddy-up! Run for the Unicorns is racing into town,” tweeted 1804 Entrepreneur Center, adding that the pre-conference hackathon starts Friday, April 26, and a “Shark Tank” casting call happens on Monday.
Organizers tout Run 2019, which runs April 29-May 4 at the University Club on the University of Louisville campus, as a conference that explores the convergence of “fintech, AR, VR, AI, IoT, blockchain, the sharing economy, video games, the future of work, and disruptive culture with a focus on business networking.”
Of course, during Derby Week, the conference is not all work. In addition to visits to the track, it features events like Bourbon With Billionaires and a Unicorn Ball. —Mickey Meece
KFC to host hiring event for new Louisville location
Those looking for full- and part-time work might want to check out a hiring event this Saturday, April 27, at the Louisville headquarters of KFC.
The fried chicken fast food chain plans to hire 20 people for a new flagship restaurant opening in Hikes Point this spring. The event will feature tastings, door prizes, a sneak peek at the restaurant’s design and on-site interviews. Candidates should bring a valid ID. Interested candidates who can’t make it to the event can apply online.
The hiring event is 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and the KFC headquarters are located at 1900 Colonel Sanders Lane. —Kevin Gibson
The University of Louisville Foundation approved a 5.5% spending rate for the fiscal year 2020 — about $26.6 million. It’s a continuation of more conservative decisions after former James Ramsey left the endowment manager.