Louisiana track renovations going well

Apr 30, 2002 2:07 AM

Louisiana’s plans to renovate two major horse racing tracks continues to go smoothly, according to a Bloodhorse.com report.

Both Louisiana Downs and the new Evangeline Downs report plans are progressing in terms of renovation and expansion. Louisiana Downs, located in Bossier City, hopes to close a deal by July with a development group that wants to purchase the track.

"We are very excited about purchasing Louisiana Downs," said Jim Davis, a Shreveport attorney representing the group’s lead investor. "There will be no major changes in the racing operation other than improving the racing operation as we move forward with the project."

Davis said he hopes to have Louisiana Gaming Control Board approval of its license to operate a slot-machine parlor at the track within 60 days. The board has already approved the track’s floor plan for the slots parlor.

The expansion work at Louisiana Downs will generate more than 1.000 jobs. As far as Evangeline Downs, the Board said the construction could begin later this year. Renovations include a 325-room hotel, 1,200-square foot ballroom and a1,500-seat theater.

Peninsula Gaming has agreed to buy a 50 percent interest in Evangeline Downs, located near Lafayette. Evangeline just opened for its 2002 thoroughbred meet.