ThistleDown to Invest $70 Million to Enhance Guest Experience, Double Down on Future of Racino and Ohio Gaming Market

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ThistleDown Racino will begin construction today on an approximately $70 million upgrade that will result in significant enhancements to the guest experience at the gaming and entertainment destination.


To date, ThistleDown has spent $88 million to enhance the storied facility, which reopened as a racino on April 9, 2013. The additional amenities signify that the company is doubling down on the continued success of ThistleDown and the strength of the Ohio gaming market.


“Our initial investment in ThistleDown has been a tremendous success and now we’re ready to introduce a new level of entertainment and dining options to the area,” said Rick Skinner, general manager of ThistleDown. “Our goal is to provide a phenomenal experience as the east side’s neighborhood racino.”


Included in those new amenities are:

  • Parking Garage: The 1,000-space garage will be located on the west side of the building and will connect directly to the racino floor.
  • High Limit Gaming and VIP Lounge: The high limit gaming area and the VIP lounge will be expanded to accommodate our high limit guests. Approximately 250 Video Lottery Terminals will be installed throughout the gaming floor, adding to the existing 1,283.
  • Restaurant: A 150-seat restaurant will provide a dining option unlike any other currently offered at ThistleDown. It will feature an eclectic menu of steaks, seafood and pasta.
  • Pasta Bar: A pasta bar will offer a quick-serve, Italian dining option.
  • Signature Bar: A rectangular bar will feature bar-top Keno, TVs to show sporting events and an 8,000-square-foot area for entertainment.
  • Guest Lobby: A new lobby will connect the gaming floor with the parking garage and provide a place for guests to gather and relax.


Construction will take approximately one year and will be completed by April 2016. Guests will experience minimal disruption throughout the process and ThistleDown will remain open 24 hours a day.


April will be a busy month at ThistleDown as it launches its 91st season of thoroughbred racing on Monday, April 27. The meet promises to be exciting with an average daily purse of $130,000, up from $111,000 in 2014. With the highest average daily purse of any thoroughbred track in Ohio, ThistleDown has attracted an impressive stable of horses and trainers this year.


The action will continue with 20 stakes races throughout the course of the 100-race day season. The biggest attraction will be the $500,000 Ohio Derby, up from $300,000 last year, on June 20. As ThistleDown’s signature race, the Ohio Derby expects to draw a stronger field of horses that will likely compete in stakes races throughout the country.


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