In 2019, Louisville was named the “Best Food City in Kentucky” by Thrillist. LendingTree’s list of “Metro Areas With the Most Profitable Businesses” placed Louisville second, just behind Seattle. The Derby City was named one of the “Top 10 Places for New Businesses” by SmartAsset, one of the “Top Cities to Visit in 2019” by TripAdvisor, and, among other accolades, one of the “7 Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers” by Livability. For the fifth year in a row, Site Selection magazine recognized Louisville Forward, the city’s economic and community development entity, as a “Top Economic Development Group.”
At its annual meeting in January 2020, Greater Louisville Inc. presented the Gold Cup Award to Alice and Wade Houston, owners of HJI Supply Chain Solutions and philanthropists who support the Louisville Urban League and other organizations and projects. The Gold Cup has been awarded 23 times since 1969 to recognize the individual actions and leadership that make the Greater Louisville area a better place to live and work.
Although Derby events were postponed and the Forecastle festival was canceled for 2020, the new decade is still shaping up well for tourism, all things considered. Tourism is the third largest industry in Louisville, with an annual $3.5 billion generated in visitor spending, supporting 27,000 jobs locally.
To the northeast of downtown Louisville, off Hurstbourne Parkway, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park has 554 acres of the great outdoors with picnic shelters, soccer and lacrosse fields, softball and flag football fields, tennis courts, a BMX bicycle track, radio-controlled airfield, an Olympic-size outdoor pool and splash park. It also has a reception hall and conference room at the Sawyer Hayes Community Center.
Greg Fischer, mayor
2019 population: 775,066
No. of households: 334,193
Total dwellings: 347,654
Median household income: $57,654
Average household income: $77,995
Labor force: 408,446
Largest employer: UPS (21,000)
Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, chief
Chamber of Commerce:
Greater Louisville Inc.
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO
Higher education: Over 19% of residents have a bachelor’s degree; nearly 14% have earned a graduate degree.