O.Z. Tyler Distillery Plans New Hotel, Other Additions

Nearly a year after opening its gates to visitors, the O.Z. Tyler distillery in Owensboro is planning more additions.

Among them is a new hotel, where distillery guests can stay.

Since the start of this year, officials with the O.Z. Tyler Distillery say they've had at least 1,000 people take the tours and visit the complex. Now, they are planning more things to do for future visitors.

"It's a fabulous tour," said Kevin Risley of Houston, who toured the distillery on Monday.

Visitors can sample bourbon and buy t-shirts at the distillery now, but in the future, they could rent a room.

"We came up with the idea of having a hotel, having breakfast included in that, so when they wake up to that, they get a private tour with the master distiller, learn more about the behind the scenes activity and then can move on to other experiences in Owensboro," said Daniel Hewlette, Director of Visitor Experience at O.Z. Tyler Distillery.

A small hotel with at least ten rooms, among the planned additions at the distillery.  Hewlette says they're also planning a new restaurant, banquet hall, and cocktail lounge. Distillery officials are working on construction permits, which could be approved as early as next month.

"It's not too common. More and more distilleries are looking at it as we kind of grow all of our visitor experiences, and make the bourbon trail in Kentucky bourbon industry in general more about the experience in the community," Hewlette says.

"They are creating unique experiences that we're finding tourists want to take advantage of," adds Mark Calitri, President of the Owensboro-Daviess Co. Convention and Visitors Bureau. "So, they are providing something unique that they can't get in a lot of places."

It's part of their goal to get the distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Hewlette says it could cost them a few million dollars to build.

"To have it come back, and to make it to where the community can come and do things, it's a great thing for the city," says Risley.

Hewlette says it could be a few years before some of the planned additions, including the hotel, are ready for visitors.

(This story was originally published on June 26th, 2017).
 


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