Newport on the Levee is undergoing major changes to contemporize its attractions and everyday offerings. The Northern Kentucky destination is slowly moving away from the 21-and-over nightlife scene to more of a family experience.
Across the country, the entertainment game is changing: Shoppers are choosing online shopping over retail stores, and fewer movie buffs are filling the seats in theaters.
“In the past, it was about outdoor shopping and eateries,” explains Levee spokesperson Vanessa Rovekamp.
Longtime dining favorites Mitchell's Fish Market and Brio Tuscan Grille are being joined by newer, locally owned spots like Greek Burrito and The Dog House hotdog restaurant.
The Levee wants to become an entertainment destination. Current attractions like the Newport Aquarium, Axis Alley and an AMC movie theater will provide the backbone for that plan.
On top of that, the theater, which was built in 2001, is undergoing a major renovation that will be completed in late November. Updates include power reclining seats, an updated snack bar menu and new screens, sound systems, speakers, carpet and paint. The changes aim to broaden the theater's demographic. While young adults used to make up its largest group of visitors, the updates are intended to create family entertainment for all ages.
Most of the changes at the Levee are not public at this time, but they are expected to reveal themselves over the next two years.
Two developments recently opened at the Levee: a new 238-apartment complex, Aqua on the Levee, offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and another 8,300 square feet of retail space and a 144-room Aloft Hotel. Apartments and a hotel are totally new concepts for the Levee area, and encourage a new "stay and play" atmosphere.
Over the past few years, the Levee has also experienced a revolving door of tenants. Despite empty properties, the Levee holds events to keep the entertainment going as renovations continue.
Recent events include the 11th annual Wine Walk (March), supported by Levee tenants and featuring local wines; LIVE at the Levee summer concert series showcasing local bands; Local Brews and Blues (June); Margarita Madness (August); fall events and country concerts to complement the winding down of Riverbend’s schedule; and Light Up the Levee, which will kick off the holiday season on Nov. 21 with festive activities for kids on the weekends.
Visit the Levee's events page for a full calendar of events, which includes tenant-related events and specials too.