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Louisville Tourism taking financial hit amid COVID-19 concerns

Louisville Tourism says they're already looking at a loss of more than $7 million as groups cancel or postpone their events.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With several events canceled over COVID-19 concerns, Louisville Tourism says it's taking a financial hit.

"Its been quite a hectic week," said Karen Williams, the president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. 

Williams says cancellations picked up on Monday. So far she says 18 groups have canceled or postponed events in the city. 

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"What that equates to in our world is 13,000 room nights for an economic impact of $7.5 million," said Williams.

And those numbers only apply to events booked through Louisville Tourism. 

"This is just what we know and that we can define," said Williams. "This isn't the scope of all the business. I would say we pretty much have the pulse. It's the majority, but it's certainly not all of the business."

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Williams said $7.5 million is "not a blip on the screen" but wants to put the number into perspective. 

"Remember we probably end our year with $500 million or more of business in our city in the year for the year, so it's something we're really monitoring closely," she said.

She said they're working to keep people informed and keep people feeling safe. 

"Letting them know how we as a city and a state are putting the measures in place to make them as safe as possible," said Williams.

Williams said that includes working with venues in the city to make sure CDC guidelines are posted and that hand sanitizer is readily available.

"We will handle what we know now, the next 30, 60, 90 days. Then we'll be ready when we come out on the other side of this to hit the restart button and be ready to go after this business and replace it," said Williams. "It's not a good situation, but we'll get past it."

More on WHAS11:

 Louisville Catholic Schools close through April 3

Beshear recommends public, private schools cancel classes for next two weeks

Everything we know about COVID-19 in Louisville

Southeast Christian Church moves to online worship, suspends all large gatherings

Humana employee in Louisville has tested positive for COVID-19

 SEC Tournament cancels remainder of games amid coronavirus concerns

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