In Arkansas, the firm behind Oaklawn Racing and Gaming has reportedly unveiled a plan that is to see it spend approximately $100 million in order to add a 200-room hotel and a 14,000 sq ft events center to the horseracing and gaming venue.
Expanded gaming floor:
According to a Tuesday report from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, Oaklawn Jockey Club explained that the scheme will also involve a 28,000 sq ft expansion of the 114-year-old facility’s gaming floor alongside the premiere of an adjacent food court and restaurant.
Issue 4 windfall:
The newspaper reported that the expansion of the facility in the city of Hot Springs has been four years in the making but was only realizable after Arkansas voters passed Issue 4 earlier this month as part of the ‘mid-term elections.’ This measure amended the southern state’s constitution in order to allow for the debut of four fully-fledged casinos and meant that Oaklawn Racing and Gaming could add table games such as poker and blackjack to its existing portfolio of electronic skill games.
New facilities to open in 2020:
Wayne Smith, General Manager for Oaklawn Racing and Gaming, told the newspaper that construction will start following the conclusion of the venue’s live racing season in May with the expansion of the casino floor expected to be finished by the following January. He moreover detailed that the new seven-story hotel, which is to boast a spa, outdoor pool and a restaurant of its own, as well as the coming events center are to open by the end of 2020.
Smith also declared that about 2,300 people are to be involved in helping to construct the new facilities at the Garland County venue, which is to now require an additional 400 full-time employees.
Securing its place:
Louis Cella, President for Oaklawn Jockey Club, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the project represents one of the state’s largest-ever private investments in the hospitality and tourism sector and is sure to help Oaklawn Racing and Gaming to secure its place as a ‘premier tourism destination.’