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Economy & Business

Oaklawn announces $100 million expansion, on-site hotel

Finish line of 2013 Arkansas derby at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs, AR.
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Finish line of 2013 Arkansas derby at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs, AR.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' only thoroughbred racetrack has announced plans for a $100 million expansion that will include an on-site hotel, event center and a larger gambling area.

Oaklawn Racing and Gaming says the project is one of the largest hospitality investments in Arkansas history. Monday's announcement comes less than two weeks after voters legalized casino gambling at four sites in the state, including Oaklawn.

Oaklawn Jockey Club President Louis Cella says discussions on the project have been in the works since 2014. Construction will begin after the racing season ends next May, with a target completion date in 2020.

Oaklawn says the new hotel will include 200 rooms, a swimming pool and a spa. The event center will be able to accommodate up to 1,500 people for concerts, meetings, banquets and meetings.