Churchill Downs Incorporated (CHDN) recently opened its new state-of-the-art Turfway Park Racing and Gaming facility, formerly Turfway Park, a big moment for the company after years of renovations. The night was an exciting one as visitors were able to see the new gaming venue for the very first time.

The company purchased the racing facility in 2019 and spend $46 million on the acquisition. A total of $148 million was spent overhauling the property to create a more exciting space. Grandstands and buildings were demolished, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place on March 2021 to begin the new construction.

Creating a Visitor Destination

During the opening day, Florence Mayor Diane Whalen was on hand. She was one of a half dozen people who placed the first bet on historical racing machines. The mayor stated that she has always seen Florence as a retail destination and hopes the new property will provide a nice outlet for visitors as a recreation and destination spot.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was also on hand, and he called Turfway Park a first-class facility and hopes that sports betting will come next. He has pushed for sports betting as attorney general and governor. He hopes that those in the general assembly who are not for sports betting will come around so legislation can be pushed through.

The governor is also hoping that players who were going out of state to gamble will now visit Turfway Park. In the northern portion of the state, residents were known to go to surrounding states because there was nowhere nearby for them to gamble.

Acquiring the Property

Churchill Downs entered into an agreement to acquire Turfway Park in late 2019, ready to take over the property from Jack Ohio LLC and Hard Rock International. The deal was contingent on approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Churchill Downs provided plans for the property, including demolishing the five-story grandstand. The company then would create the racing and gambling property from the ground up to provide new and exciting entertainment options via gaming, dining, and live entertainment.

Turfway Park Racing & Gaming has 8oo games featuring thoroughbred and simulcast racing. There are plenty of games to explore with various racing-style wagering options. Visitors can dine at two restaurants on-site with a live entertainment schedule on offer for players who want to enjoy a different experience.

New visitors to the state-of-the-art facility can use the Players Club to earn access to promotions and incentives. The program includes a new member offer and regular drawings.