Oaklawn Racing and Gaming has announced an expansion project worth more than $100m that includes the construction of a high-rise hotel, multi-purpose event centre, a larger gaming area, and additional on-site parking in the US state of Arkansas.
This is one of the largest hospitality investments in the history of Arkansas.
The company intends to elevate thoroughbred racing and make Oaklawn and Hot Springs a stronger regional tourism destination.
The seven-storey hotel will have 200 rooms, including two presidential suites. Amenities will include an outdoor swimming pool, a luxury spa, fitness centre and restaurant.
The goal is to achieve 4-star status for the hotel, which will offer patrons a vantage point as it will overlook the racetrack on one side with a view of the lakes and mountains on the other.
A 14,000ft² multi-purpose events centre will be constructed adjacent to the hotel. The centre will be able to accommodate 1,500 people for events such as concerts, meetings, banquets and weddings.
Oaklawn is working with the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission to ensure that the multi-purpose event centre complements the efforts of the Hot Springs convention centre and arena.
The project includes the addition of 28,000ft² of gaming space and expanded parking.
A shuttle service will transport patrons from their vehicles to the facility. Shuttle stops will be located throughout the parking areas.
Construction will begin in May immediately after the completion of the 2019 racing season.
The gaming expansion is expected to be completed in January 2020 and the hotel and event centre are expected to be completed in late 2020.
Memphis-based HBG Design, which worked on two previous Oaklawn projects, has been appointed architectural firm for the new expansion.
Flintco Construction, which has its Arkansas headquarters in Springdale, has been selected as the contractor for the project.
The project is expected to create around 2,300 jobs during the construction phase.
This expansion project has been in the planning stages since 2014 and will be Oaklawn’s third major construction project since 2008.
Image: Rendering of the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming expansion project. Photo: Courtesy of Oaklawn Racing and Gaming.