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Oaklawn Expands With High-Rise Hotel, Event Center and Increased Gaming Area
Oaklawn Racing and Gaming announced plans to build an expansion project that includes the construction of a high-rise hotel, multipurpose event center, a larger gaming area and additional on-site parking.
The project is one of the largest hospitality investments in the history of Arkansas.
“This historic announcement represents a new chapter in the rich 114-year history of Oaklawn,” said Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Jockey Club. “As we enhance the entertainment experience for our customers, we will also further elevate thoroughbred racing and help make Arkansas and Hot Springs even stronger regional tourism destinations.”
The yet-to-be-named hotel will be seven stories with 200 rooms, including two presidential suites. Amenities will include an outdoor swimming pool, a luxury spa, fitness center and restaurant.
“The hotel will offer a unique vantage point for our patrons in that it will overlook the track. Imagine the spectacular view as the horses are heading down the stretch,” said Cella. “Our goal is to achieve 4-star status.”
Adjacent to the hotel will be a 14,000 square-foot multi-purpose events center that will accommodate up to 1,500 people for various events such as concerts, meetings, banquets and weddings.
The project also includes the addition of approximately 28,000 square feet of gaming space and significantly expanded parking.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the Oaklawn expansion will be monumental.
“The state of Arkansas is grateful to Louis and his family for their commitment to growing their business right here at home,” said Gov. Hutchinson.
Cella says the development will create new partnership opportunities with the city of Hot Springs in that marketing efforts will be designed to complement those of the city’s. He says while various on-site amenities will be offered, Oaklawn will want guests to enjoy all that Hot Springs has to offer including Hot Springs National Park, lakes, hiking and biking trails, museums, restaurants, shopping and more.
Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, says the events center and hotel rooms will be beneficial to Hot Springs and Arkansas.
“Oaklawn’s project will allow Hot Springs to attract more and larger meetings and conventions,” said Arrison. “This creates exciting opportunities for Hot Springs tourism.”
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