VERSAILLES, Ky. (FOX 56) — There’s a lot of construction and development going on in downtown Versailles, and city leaders are celebrating.

Versailles is a small, quaint town, but there’s still a lot of traffic in and out from both residents and visitors. With local businesses around every corner and new ones entering the mix, city leaders like Mayor Brian Traugott say it’s been a good streak for development.


“It’s extremely exciting. It seems like we’re cutting ribbons downtown once a week. Things are moving, things are shaking, and in two years, this is going to be the place to be,” Traugott said.

The Rickhouse Hotel and Distillery is one of those major investments, and it’s slated to open in the summer of 2024. Alex Riddle is the managing partner of the hotel development property.

“We’re hoping it drives traffic to all of the other retail businesses that have been opening. Over the last three years, we’ve really seen a renaissance of downtown retail businesses, and I really hope this helps support all of those businesses,” Riddle said.

Like a lot of projects, this one hit a bit of a hurdle with the pandemic. For those involved, it made finally getting started all the more satisfying.

“My partner and I talked the other day; I’m a bit of a crier. I’ll cry when we get this thing done. I almost cried when we closed on the building finally after two years of trying. I almost cried when we swung the first hammer in here; it’s really exciting,” Riddle said.

On top of that, the Versailles Community Market Pavilion is expected to finish at the same time as the hotel. Emily Downey is the president and CEO of the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s going to be so many programs and events down there. It faces Big Spring Park, which is also under revitalization. The entire downtown is going to come alive come next year,” Downey said.

September may mean fall décor is out, but Woodford County is ready for next summer.

“A lot of people discount the importance of tourism in a community, but tourism and quality of life go hand in hand. That’s what you’re trying to give the citizens here is quality of life. When you do things that will attract visitors, inherently, it’s going to be good for the people who live here,” Traugott said.