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New Horse Racing Facility Opens in May
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- In just seven months a gaming and racing facility in the tri-state will open its doors in the hope that money, players and dollars will start rolling into both the track and Anderson Township.
Just a few short hours ago it was announced that the new track called "Belterra Park Gaming and Entertainment Center" will open May first of next year.
Owned by Pinnacle Entertainment, which also owns the Belterra Casino in Lawrenceburg, the new facility in Anderson Township promises to be much more than just a horse track.
River Downs opened its doors in 1925 at a cost of one million dollars. Purchased in 2011, when the new facility is done it will represent a 300 million dollar investment and that means big bucks for this township.
The call to the post is a part of horse racing history. A full time teacher, during the weekends, Jason Hougland's one of the bugler's at Churchill Downs.
He says, You're kind of like a mascot for the track. I know that sounds strange I never thought of myself as a mascot before I started doing that, but people think you're either a jockey or a bugler.
When the bugle sounds for the first race at Belterra in May of next year it will feed a financial furnace to power this community. This facility expects to generate about 300 million dollars a year in the immediate area and since it's part of a 30 year tax increment financing plan the money the township makes will go right back into riverfront development.
Russ Jackson, an Anderson Township Trustee, says, What's going to happen ultimately is property values are going to be enhanced along the whole corridor. That will inure to the benefit of everybody in the township and new businesses that will come down here that will all be to the benefit of the citizens.
This facility will encompass both a dirt track and a turf track, 6 restaurants, banquet facilities, 1600 video lottery terminals and phenomenal views of the races. Pinnacle officials see this as part of a long term, much bigger project.
Pinnacle CEO Anthony Sanfilippo says, When we purchased the land and the facility that was here we said we want to be here for a very, very long time. We want to be able to develop a complex that we can both add on to as well as something guests can come back to time and time again and have a really great time.
Part of what owners and township officials hope will be the magic here is location. This track, if you don't know, is right next door to the Riverbend Music Center. Next to that is Coney Island.
There's talk of new businesses down here even a hotel, in the very near future.
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