Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs
Public officials and community leaders joined Penn National Gaming Inc. today for the formal groundbreaking of the $125 million Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course, which will bring gaming and thoroughbred racing to the Mahoning Valley when it opens in 2014.
The video lottery terminal facility and its companion one-mile state-of-the-art racetrack are being constructed at Austintown’s CentrePoint Business Park off state Route 46 just south of Interstate 80, just west of Youngstown.
Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course is expected to generate approximately 1,000 construction jobs and create approximately 1,000 new direct and indirect jobs once it opens, officials said.
Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course’s VLT facility will open with up to 1,500 VLTs along with a variety of food and beverage options. It will feature Penn National’s Hollywood theme, bringing the classic style and glamour of 1930s art deco Hollywood to the gaming floor, a concept already familiar to many Ohioans who have visited the company’s Hollywood Casinos in Columbus and Toledo.
The racetrack grandstand will feature more than 1,000 enclosed, climate-controlled seats with racetrack views, a state-of-the-art year-round simulcast wagering facility and additional food and beverage options.
In addition to the $125 million in construction costs, Penn National will pay Ohio a $50 million fee for its VLT license and an additional $75 million it agreed to pay for permission to relocate the racing license for its existing Beulah Park racetrack in Grove City, bringing the company’s total investment to $250 million.
Legislation approved in 2012 will provide Austintown Township with $1 million in local impact funds in each of the facility’s first two years of operation, and local governments in the region will benefit from additional local income and property tax revenues.
“All of us at Penn National are grateful to our local officials, community leaders, and friends in the business community here in Austintown and the Mahoning Valley for the cooperation and strong support that has led to this historic day,” said Tim Wilmott, President and COO of Penn National.
“This formal groundbreaking is just the beginning of a process that will lead up to the grand opening of Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course next year. But more than that, it is the beginning of what we foresee as a new era of economic development for the Mahoning Valley,” Wilmott said. “The jobs and business opportunities we’ll be creating here, the tax revenues that will begin flowing, and the boost the facility will bring to the tourism, hospitality and retail industries in the Valley will have a long-lasting, beneficial impact on this community and this region.”
Also scheduled to speak at the ceremony were U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, state Reps. Ron Gerberry and Robert F. Hagan, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler, Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis and Don Crane, president of the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council.
The Ohio State Racing Commission earlier this month unanimously approved the transfer of the Beulah Park license to Austintown, as well as the transfer of the license for Raceway Park in Toledo to Dayton. The Ohio Lottery Commission is currently processing Penn National’s applications for VLT licenses at the two new facilities. Ground was also broken today for Hollywood at Dayton Raceway, a VLT and harness racing facility to be built in North Dayton on the site of an abandoned automotive factory.
Turner Construction has been selected by Penn National to act as construction manager for the project.
Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company presently operates twenty-nine facilities in nineteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. In aggregate, Penn National’s operated facilities currently feature approximately 34,800 gaming machines, approximately 850 table games, 2,900 hotel rooms and approximately 1.6 million square feet of gaming floor space.