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Ditzler: Racino can attract new restaurants, hotels, veterinary centers

Published: Fri, February 1, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



The $250 million thoroughbred racetrack and casino opening next year in Austintown offers substantial economic- development potential for the area around it, Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler said Thursday.

A host of new businesses will find desirable locations near the 194-acre Penn National Gaming Inc. racino to be built at state Route 46 and Silica Road, said Ditzler, who was an Austintown trustee before becoming a county commissioner at the beginning of January.

“We’ve already had people looking into new hotels. There’s going to be new hotel food services,” the commissioner said.

Veterinary medical practices will be attracted to the racino area to care for horses, including 800 horses to be stalled at the racino, he said.

“You’re going to have just an abundance of different jobs that correlate to that industry that are coming into the county,” he added, noting the site-preparation work is under way for the racino, known as the Hollywood Slots at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

The racino itself will have 800 to 1,000 full-time employees across three shifts, according to Penn National.

Taxes paid by the racino could be used to widen and repave Silica Road and add curbs and drainage improvements to it, the former trustee said.

Sarah V. Lown, senior manager for economic development at the Western Reserve Port Authority, which is the commissioners’ economic development agent, said the authority stands ready to help.

“Some of the support industries to the racino project could enter into development agreements, wherein the facility built to serve the racino might actually be built and temporarily owned by the port authority, bringing down the cost for building materials because we don’t have to pay sales tax,” Lown said.

“We actually can’t work directly with gambling operations,” but the authority can help businesses locating near the racino, said Lown, whose authority serves Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Restaurants and stables are among the businesses that could be attracted to the racino area, said Lown, who gave commissioners a report of the port authority’s recent economic-development efforts.

Ditzler told Lown the commissioners should take advantage of the authority’s economic-development expertise and work closely with it in these efforts, including those related to the Austintown racetrack and casino project.


1UNCOMMONSENSE(554 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

They pawn shops, money lending and check cashing places have been here long before the start of the racino!

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2DwightK(1406 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe they will buy out the strip joint and the place that offers "baths". *shudder*

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3nojimbo(255 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

mrright is right this time. This will just ADD to Austintown's leadership in pawn shops, money lending and check cashing places. Staying classy as always.

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4lefty83(313 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Let's see who get's the landscaping bid for this racino,bet ya the guy's name is dave...lmao

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5Remington(1 comment)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh Valleypolitics you must be a city person who does not know township government. So back in 2002 time period Ditzler chaired the hostile zone change meeting that enabled the Centerpoint property to change the zoning that made it conducive for the Racino!! Hence the ability to come to Austintown was established. So proactive elected officials such as thoes in Austintown planted the seed that grew in 2012!! Thank you Ditzler and to our fine elected officials in Austintown for planning for our future!!

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6DSquared(1532 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Gee, I hope it doesn't resemble the Thistledown neighborhood!

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7BigJim2234(57 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Low blow on the city..... Forward thinking could be all the industrial parks the city has as well as V&M? Austintown has enough problems already. Enough drugs and prostitution to go around.....anything is good for the valley but to say city guy made that comment was a little classless. Considering its the only place REAL economic development has taken place?

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8Askmeificare(810 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

As a responder in Vindy City, In the County of the Land of Mahoning, I respond to this article regally and put my thoughts into a post, legally.

You see, and I have got to state this meagerly, to be, you see, yes we, that all of we, are morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and, reliably, ready to get this racino party started!

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