Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Waverly Hills Casino - Let's Get It Done

WHAS11 has a report on Kentucky's newly-elected Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo's initiative to place slot machines at race tracks to help cover the state's enormous half-billion dollar budget shortfall. There has been much discussion on this issue in the past with both sides refusing to cede any ground whatsoever.

It is personally my opinion that the state should allow full-blown casino gambling, and not just the "half-measure" of slots at race tracks. The reality is that if we would allow casinos we would keep gambling dollars in Kentucky. That is the bottom line. The gamblers are already here. Currently, all of those dollars go across the river to Indiana and help educate Hoosiers and pave Hoosier roads. It isn't much of a moral issue, in my opinion. We allow much more "immoral" behavior in the commonwealth. Besides, no one is forced to walk into a casino and we can all certainly agree that the state needs the money. The revenue generated by state wide casinos would virtually eliminate the need for any tax increases on Kentuckians.

It has been a dream of mine to see a full service resort hotel, casino and entertainment complex constructed at the site of the old Waverly Hills Hospital in Southwest Louisville. One could only imagine the potential of having such a place on the hill and the economic boost it would give to the area. I envision a vibrant showplace that pays tribute to the history of the area, and architecturally stands out as a fantastic landmark. Let's face it; as it now stands, the property is a super-limited attraction, appealing to "ghost hunters", "ghost busters" and goofballs that want to vandalize something. The property deserves better than to be promoted as some type of haunted hotel and fodder for late night cable. HERE is the "official" website for the property.

Casino jobs pay well over the average of other service-related jobs and traditionally include benefits. The construction of the facility would create more opportunities for local trades. The location is ideal for travelers, since the area is well served by highways and interstates and perhaps, in the future, passenger rail.

What do you say? Let's bring an elegant first-class casino to our part of town and give our neighbors and the Commonwealth the opportunity to make some real money.


  1. i say bring it on. your on the money as usual, Tuck. keep doing this it is he best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I disagree. I think this would be a terrible idea. Dixie Hwy simply can not handle the traffic, nor can Pages Ln. It will simply end up costing at the least headaches and lose of people's property because of the need to expand the roads to handle the incoming and out coming flow of patrons. That is if it takes off. I do not want the image of a casino which will attract people to gamble money when we are already experiencing high foreclosures due to skyrocketing mortgages among other economic issues. This is not the answer. It will degrade the community not enrich it. I believe in the preservation of this property to the fullest. I am a huge history buff and respect it for it's history. This is where my grandparents met so how it's transformed is personal to me.

  3. I understand your apprehension. But I am here to float ideas, and since no one has any others I thought I would give it a shot.

    I, too, respect history, and have much affection toward our historic structures. But relying on ghost stories and "haunted" relics that disgrace the memories of those who died at Waverly is a terrible way to honor our past, and cheapens any attempt to revive the place.

    I would like a casino. Not for myself or my community exclusively, but for visitors. I am interested in your ideas for the property. Casino or not, it makes for good discussion.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. I agree with the ghost stories...especially considering they have "enhanced" the facts (ie. number of deaths) to make the place scary. I would like to see the place join the historical site list for the state. I believe that having it run with the same intent as with Farnsley Moorman Landing or My Old Kentucky Home would be best for it. I would be willing to help anyone push that to happen.

  5. I know the owners, and they are open to all suggestions. Right now, the only way to make money on the property is to exploit its past, and they are doing what they can to preserve it. (Putting in windows, etc.) I'd love to see part of it as a hotel, and maybe a public health museum, also. (While a lot of people died there, it was a good place, far nicer than most hospitals at the time, and that should be noted -people were not warehoused there to die, they were cared for while suffering from an often fatal disease.)

  6. I am not opposed to the hotel. I think a bed and breakfast with a history/museum would be an amazing tribute to the place. I for one would love to spend the night there in that manner.

  7. Tim, I agree. A bed & breakfast or hotel with professional meeting place and amenities would be nice. A complementary museum would be an ideal addition.

    But overall, there must be a way for the property to be separated from the perception of some type of haunted house where people went to die. It cheapens the whole thing.

    The place was a state of the art facility when it opened. Let's honor its past by making it so again. Casino or not.

  8. I too agree that the true history is being buried deeper and deeper by the hype. The fact that the worst spreaders of fiction are no longer allowed to be involved up there is helpful, but their lies are so ingrained that they won't go away easily, and are often regurgitated endlessly by the endless procession of tv shows that thrive on false legends.
    And while I totally understand that the owners are doing all that they can to save the building, I would like to see the truth start taking center stage.
    The B&B idea has it's merits so long as a decent museum is included in the final draft. Louisville prides itself on being on the cutting edge of medical science and Waverly is a proud monument to the fact that Louisville has held that standard for nearly a century. It deserves to be respected as such.
    I just wish I could line up something with the history channel to do a factual show about Waverly to answer to the crap that has already come out. I would gladly share all of my data for such a cause which includes stacks of documentation and newspaper articles to include a few copies of the Waverly Herald (a news letter put out for the patients) and I have well over 4,000 death certificates of people who died at Waverly or were somehow involved there.