Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hollywood Casino hotel process hitting home stretch

Lodging required by county awaiting final approvals

February 26, 2015

The landscape of the Interstate 70 corridor near Kansas Speedway and Hollywood Casino is expected to change.

Plans for a 248-room hotel near the casino moved one step further with a planning commission recommendation earlier this month.

Kansas Entertainment LLC, a joint venture of Penn Hollywood Kansas and Kansas Speedway Development Corporation, is in charge of the proposed project.

Jeff Boerger, president of KSDC, said an estimated timeline for building and completion, as well as a price tag for the hotel, is premature because of additional approvals needed. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., and the Kansas Entertainment board have more details to finalize.

Whatever the final plan, Boerger said there are expectations that come with the project.

“It will be the same type of quality as the casino,” Boerger said. “Obviously it’s something that we want the community and everyone to be proud of.”

There were previous discussions about building a convention center as part of the hotel addition, but officials moved toward focusing on a hotel that offers some meeting space.

Greg Kindle with the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council said it was determined a convention center wouldn’t bring in new business.

The hotel, though, would be a good addition to the area, Kindle said.

“It keeps the community moving forward and keeps moving forward in development,” he said.

A Residence Inn is going up just west of Yard House in The Legends shopping district, while at least another is anticipated with the U.S. Soccer National Training Center. The more than $75 million complex, planned for the southeast corner of 98th Street and Parallel Parkway, will feature an indoor complex.

The Hollywood Casino hotel would add to that latest wave of development. Boerger said plans are for the hotel to be constructed west of the casino, which is southeast of Kansas Speedway.

Boerger added that the speedway has additional land — about 1,000 acres — east of the speedway. He said officials are looking to utilize about 300 acres for additions ranging from office space to mixed-use developments.

He said potential businesses for that area would be ones that partner with Kansas Speedway’s core business of racing.

In the meantime, the focus is on moving forward with hotel preparations.

“I think it’s progressed as it should,” Kindle said about the plans for a hotel and looking at the possibility of a convention center.

He said anytime someone is looking at potential plans of that magnitude and “this type of investment,” it’s important to have such a process.

Boerger noted Kansas Speedway and Hollywood Casino have provided hundreds of jobs.

Adding a hotel to the mix would continue the job creation and benefit the area, according to Boerger.

“I think just an overall perspective is it’s been tremendous, not only for the community, Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County, but the state,” Boerger said.

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