Racino opening part of growing interest at highway intersection


Racino opening part of growing interest at highway intersection


$175 million cost of investment to build racino in Turtlecreek Twp., Warren County

$24 million estimated economic impact based on salaries and wages, property taxes, local sales taxes and local purchases

500 plus employees hired for racino opening Thursday, Dec. 12

Local government leaders say the opening Thursday of the new racino is not expected to be a major draw alone for attracting new businesses. Rather, it’s opening is more symptomatic of growing interest at the Ohio 63-Interstate 75 interchange, located halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Miami Valley Gaming & Raceway, the horsetrack with 1,600 electronic slot machines, opens Thursday off Ohio 63 in Turtlecreek Twp., east of the highway intersection.

“If you take a look a Cincinnati and its growth pattern and the density that’s come up, and you take a look at Dayton and its growth southward, we’re sitting right in the next location for those two concentric circles of growth,” said Jonathan Sams, Turtlecreek Twp. trustee.

“I think the racino recognized those growth patterns,” Sams said.

The same intersection is known for attractions including shopping center Cincinnati Premium Outlets, flea markets Trader’s World and Treasure Aisles, and Solid Rock Church with a large statue of Jesus.

Neighboring community Monroe is seeing more business interest in potential development for several likely reasons: an improving economy, the desire to be close to other regional destinations such as Cincinnati Premium Outlets, and available sites, said Kevin Chesar, Monroe Development Director.

“The racino’s opening is welcomed in the that it compliments continued interest in Monroe,” Chesar said in an email. “We believe that the racino’s success will result in increased visitor attraction to Monroe.”

Early estimates are that the racino will have a $24 million economic impact based on salaries and wages, property taxes, local sales taxes and local purchases, said James Simms, Miami Valley Gaming president and general manager. That estimate doesn’t include construction costs or taxes paid to the state on gaming revenues.

Miami Valley Gaming & Racing is also partnering with local businesses to drive visitors to shop and dine nearby. For example, racino restaurant Acres Seasonal Buffet is buying meats, fruits and vegetables from local vendors, Simms said.

Gamblers earn points for playing games at the racino. Points can be redeemed for free play on machines, food, or vouchers for gift cards to use at surrounding businesses including Cincinnati Premium Outlets, Monroe restaurant Red Onion Cafe, Golden Lamb, Shaker Run Golf Club, Great Wolf Lodge, and several other establishments, said Jeff Nelson, senior director of marketing for Miami Valley Gaming.

“We’ve got a lot of local attractors. You’ve got Kings Island obviously, you’ve got Cincinnati Premium Outlets mall, you’ve got the water park. There are a lot of natural attractors and they call Warren County Ohio’s playground,” Simms said.

“What we’re trying to do is form some partnerships that will allow us to cross promote our businesses and add value to the whole destination package,” Simms said.

Meanwhile, existing businesses at the intersection say they’ll be waiting and watching to see how the newest attraction impacts them. Hotel operators are weighing further improvements or expansion.

“It all depends on how the racino goes,” Vijay Patel, general manager of the Comfort Inn, just west of the racino, said last week, while workers completed renovations in the hotel pool and lobby.

Already Patel and staff at a Best Western, just west of I-75 in Monroe, said they were profiting from the project through rooms rented to 50 to 70 contractors on the project.

“Pretty much anything we do is going to be based on the success of the casino,” Josh Herron, assistant manager at the Best Western, said.

Staff Writer Larry Budd contributed to this report.

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