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Penn National Gaming breaks ground

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Friday, July 5, 2013

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Neighbors | Elise McKeown Skolnick Watching the groundbreaking. Turner Construction is the construction manager for the project.

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Neighbors | Elise McKeown Skolnick .Jim Davis, Austintown Trustee, speaks at the Penn National Gaming groundbreaking for the race track to be built in the township.

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Neighbors | Elise McKeown Skolnick Tim Wilmott, Penn National Gaming chief operating officer, speaks at the ground breaking for the new race track.

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Neighbors | Elise McKeown Skolnick Pictured is a rendering of the main entrance of Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

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Neighbors | Elise McKeown Skolnick .Shown, from left, are Tim Wilmott (Pen National Gaming chief operating officer), Laura Wolfe (Austintown Township fiscal officer), Eric Schippers (Penn National senior vice president of public affairs), Jim Davis and Lisa Oles (Austintown Township Trustees) and David Ditzler (Mahoning County Commissioner) break ground for a new gaming facility to be built on state Route 46.

By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK

neighbors@vindy.com

Public officials and community leaders pushed shovels into dirt, formally breaking ground for the $125 million race course to be built on State Route 46.

“I think it can do a lot for this area,” said Lori Watson, Austintown Home Depot store manager. “It’ll bring people to this neighborhood, to this community. We’re awfully excited.”

Watson and Anthony Sattarelle, operations manager, attended the formal ceremony May 30 to support the endeavor.

“It’ll help all the businesses, bring all the people over here, there’ll be more traffic,” Sattarelle said. “I’d rather have the money brought here versus out of state. That’s what happens right now.”

The video lottery terminal and thoroughbred racetrack are expected to generate about 1,000 construction jobs and to create 1,000 jobs once it opens.

“We talk about Lordstown and the Chevrolet Cruze, we talk about V & M Star, we talk about Turning Technologies – well, Austintown Township has finally got its piece of its puzzle,” said Jim Davis, Austintown Trustee.

Davis added that the construction of Penn National Gaming Inc.’s Hollywood at Mahoning Valley Race Course means new hotels and restaurants will be built in the township.

“Austintown Township has finally found its niche. It’s going to be the hotspot of the community. It’s going to be a place for all of us to gather,” Davis said.

Tim Wilmott, chief operating officer, said that Penn National will purchase and hire locally whenever possible.

“This is going to be a tremendous facility. I love this site,” Wilmott said. “We believe in this part of northeast Ohio.”

The facility, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will feature up to 1,500 video lottery terminals, a one mile thoroughbred race track, a simulcast theater, and various dining and entertainment options. Turner Construction is acting as construction manager.


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