VERSAILLES — People who have never been inside the CastlePost, the turreted luxury inn on U.S. 60, will soon get a chance.
On Tuesday, Woodford Fiscal Court gave final approval to amendments to the county planning ordinance that will allow a restaurant for the general public to open at the castle.
Just how soon a restaurant will open — and what the menu and prices might be — is still unclear. But CastlePost owner Tom Post is apparently chomping at the bit to open a restaurant.
Bill Moore of Versailles, Post's lawyer, said Tuesday that the castle owner wants to complete the paperwork as soon as possible.
"That was his comment today: 'When can I get an application?'" Moore said.
Since it opened in 2008, CastlePost has been open only to overnight guests or those attending special events such as fund-raisers. Those restrictions were set by the county board of adjustment.
The amendments approved Tuesday define new terms in the ordinance called "tourist destination" and "tourist destination, expanded."
A "tourist destination" is defined as a unique, regionally recognized existing landmark or historic structure that promotes tourism and the local economy. It must be at least 30 acres and have road frontage on a state or federal highway. Its restaurant seating must be limited to 75 patrons.
CastlePost and other attractions fitting this description would be able to open restaurants right away, with no government approval other than to be in compliance with building codes, health regulations and other laws.
"Tourist destination, expanded" would allow a restaurant with seating for more than 75 patrons and would allow more than seven special events such as receptions, parties, corporate picnics or weddings per week. It could have more than 10 guest rooms. The county's board of adjustment would have to approve applications for this.
At least three Woodford Thoroughbred horse farms — Lane's End, Three Chimneys and WinStar — host periodic tours that draw more than 40,000 people each year. The amendments would allow those farms to open gift shops, overnight accommodations or restaurants.
The final vote on the amendments was identical to a vote Jan. 8. Magistrates Charles "Bones" Webber, Gary Finnell, Ken Reed, Gerald Dotson, Duncan Gardiner and Jackie Brown voted for the amendments. Magistrate Larry Craig voted against the amendments. Magistrate Bruce Gill abstained because he had spoken in favor of the amendments during a hearing last year before the county planning commission.