Hollywood Casino asks for more time to begin hotel construction

01/07/2014 5:26 PM

01/07/2014 9:51 PM

As a deadline approaches next month, Hollywood Casino is asking for more time to fulfill a pledge to build a hotel on the site at Kansas Speedway, a casino spokesman said Tuesday.

Owners of the casino had promised the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., that they would break ground on the hotel within two years of the casino’s grand opening in February 2012, said Dean Doria, vice president of marketing.

That’s not going to happen, Doria said. Now they are looking at a fall groundbreaking, assuming there’s a decision to go forward with the project, according to the online newsletter put out by the Unified Government.

Hollywood Casino officials will outline their plans at a special meeting of the Unified Government Commission set for 5 p.m. Thursday at City Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

Doria said many of the details had yet to be determined and the partnership that owns the casino needed more time to do its due diligence.

“We’re basically asking for an extension,” Doria said.

When the $200 million-plus casino opened in 2012, plans called for building a 250-room hotel beginning this year.

Doria declined to comment on how large a hotel is currently under consideration.

According to the Unified Government, an official announcement outlining the final details is set for May 10 during the start of the spring NASCAR season, with groundbreaking to follow in October around the time of the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR race.

The government said the casino company will have to pay a penalty if for some reason the hotel isn’t built. That penalty would equal 1 percent of the casino’s annual revenue.

According to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, gambling revenue at Hollywood Casino totaled $114 million in 2012. Figures for 2013 were not available.

Hollywood Casino is a joint venture of International Speedway Corp. and Penn National Gaming, which operates casinos around the United States, including Argosy Casino in Riverside.


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