JACK Entertainment officially announced that the local Thistledown Racino in North Randal, Ohio, will be given funds of USD 70 million for renovations and new amenities.
Thistledown Racetrack was formed and regulated under the Ohio Racing Commission in 1931. In 2007, the parent company, Magna Entertainment, put the venue up for sale and as a result suffered massive losses that ultimately had to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for both the racetrack and themselves. Caesars Entertainment, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment, purchased Thistledown in 2010 and contributed to a joint venture between Caesars and JACK Entertainment, then known as Rock Gaming LLC, in the summer of 2012. Around the same time, passage of a bill in Ohio, gave permissions for racetracks to offer video lottery terminals facilities, giving birth to the Thistledown Racino. Talk of investments and renovations have been circulating since then.
JACK looking for a revival
JACK Entertainment now aims to develop and restore the image and popularity of the racino. They have decided to add a brand new entrance, new state of the art video lottery terminals, several new eateries and a parking structure large enough to accommodate 1000 vehicles; turning the racino into a premier entertainment destination.
Matt Cullen, chief executive officer at JACK Entertainment said, “This investment is consistent with our commitment to the historic Thistledown Racino, to providing our team members with an enjoyable and productive work environment and to offering our guests an exciting racing and gaming experience. JACK Entertainment is focused on a new level of entertainment for Northeast Ohio and we believe this renovation lives up to that expectation.”
Once the renovations are completed, guests will enjoy a new, grand entrance; made of glass, which will give way to a 1,200 square foot “living wall” comprised of 7,000 plants from 10 different species. The wall, which will also pay homage to Northeast Ohio’s Emerald Necklace of renowned parks, will be cared for by a high-tech, self-sufficient irrigation system.
Guests can also look forward to the multi-level, 1,000 space parking garage that will open directly on to the property’s gaming floor, giving them quick and convenient access to the venue and their many niceties.
The gaming room is expected to be fitted with 235 new Video Lottery Terminals with many popular themes, including Wonder 4 Tower, Quick Hit, Buffalo Grand and China Shores.
Besides gaming facilities, visitors will also have access to several distinct restaurants.
First on the list is JACK Thistledown’s signature restaurant, Millcreek Grille, which will serves a variety of steaks, seafood and pizzas; all made in a wood-fired, gourmet oven. Millcreek, which will overlook the racetrack, will serve guests lunch and dinner seven days a week. Guests would have the option of enjoying their meals at the 360 degree, granite bar top in the middle of the restaurant or at private tables, while enjoying the view of the thrilling thoroughbred competitions.
Another restaurant named, Nonna Pazza will also be making their way to the racetrack. Nonna Pazza, which translated from Italian to mean “crazy grandma” will be a quick-serve pasta bar, where guests will be able to design and customise their own pasta dish or choose from the chef’s menu. The restaurant will offer guests the option to enjoy their meal from their bar top seating or as takeaway.
Lastly, to celebrate the 90 year old racetrack and its rich history in Cleveland, guests will be offered a one-of-a kind sports bar – Cleo’s. At the bar, guests will have the option of playing 13 varieties of bar top Keno, while watching unlimited sporting action on their very own eight 80-inch TV screens, surrounding a centre bar. Another 110 inch super screen will be made by combining four additional TVs, where guests will be able to enjoy big games and racing action; Cleo’s promises to also offer live entertainment at their venue.
On top of all the indoor enhancements, a new, 20 by 50 feet infield, digital tote board that will features live, real time races will be added; both the racing and digital results will be simultaneously telecast using this board.
In addition to all these amenities and conveniences, the Racino will also benefit from new management and a distinctive brand and their branding campaigns.
President and Chief Operating Officer at JACK Entertainment, Mark Dunkeson said, “We will have no shortage of excitement and surprises at JACK Thistledown; with the launch of our new brand and the transition of management – which includes the addition of incredible new leaders, a revitalized team and a fresh, shared vision – our first priority is to provide exceptional experiences for our guests.”
The new and exciting venue will open to public on the 25th of April. The enhanced atmosphere will kick start with an exciting thoroughbred racing season, which will run for 100 race days.