They might seem like slot machines, however they’re really historic horse racing machines. Here is the distinction. Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle
A 200-million greenback facility is promising to deliver Vegas vibes to Oak Grove, and put the small Kentucky city simply north of Clarksville and proper outdoors Fort Campbell on the map as a mecca of leisure.
Now, only a week earlier than it opens to the general public, a sneak peek inside the brand new Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Lodge facility presents a glimpse of smooth, mahogany-clad interiors, upscale eating and ingesting choices, a number of leisure venues, and a neon-lit 100,000-square foot gaming ground full of greater than 1,300 historic horse racing machines.
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The ability will open Sept. 18, practically a 12 months and a half after its groundbreaking by Churchill Downs Inc. in partnership with Keeneland Affiliation.
Initially, they will open the gaming facility, 4 eating places, and occasion facility, based on senior director of selling Jerry Abner, who mentioned they anticipate to draw a various crowd.
“The gang I feel we’ll get contains these proper throughout the road at Fort Campbell, after which Clarksville and Oak Grove and Hopkinsville, that are rising. Then we’re simply an hour from Nashville, so we expect we’ll get of us from there,” mentioned Abner.
One of many primary attracts is the gaming ground, that includes greater than 1,300 historic horse racing machines, which Abner mentioned are not like different space gaming machines.
The gaming ground of the brand new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, set to open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
“What’s distinctive about our machines is that Churchill Downs went to the gaming producers and mentioned we wish to should one of the best video games. We would like to have the ability to have our prospects do the identical themes they play once they go to Vegas on a distinct quantity generator. So to try this, it took some math and a few science and a few work on the producers half. So we’ve got a wide range of themes. All these machines you’d see if you happen to went into any on line casino on the strip in Vegas,” mentioned Abner.
“That is a whole lot of what units us aside. We’ve a whole lot of machines that you just’re not going to have the ability to play anyplace else right here.”
Jerry Abner, senior director of selling at Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, demonstrates one of many historic horse racing machines on Sept. 9, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
Abner mentioned regardless of their similarities with Las Vegas slot machines, these pari-mutuel wagering machines are authorized in Kentucky. The place they differ from slots is that these gaming machines use a pool comparable to stay horse racing — the place gamers are really betting in opposition to different gamers. It is all managed by an algorithm primarily based on the outcomes of previous horse races, pulled from a database of tens of hundreds of historic races.
“You are betting in opposition to everybody else enjoying within the digital pool, not in opposition to the home such as you’d have in Vegas,” he mentioned, noting individuals can place bets starting from 50 cents as much as $50, and may benefit from perks by way of the Participant’s Membership.
What they cannot do, nonetheless, is play desk video games like poker and blackjack, which — like slot machines — are unlawful in Kentucky.
Eating places, bars and lounges
One other spotlight is the Garrison Oak Steakhouse, a 146-seat superb eating restaurant that includes steak and seafood menu choices comparable to a 32-oz tomahawk ribeye steak and the famed Patagonia Verlasso salmon.
Staff within the kitchen of the Garrison Oak Steakhouse on the new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, scheduled to open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
“The feel and taste of that salmon is phenomenal,” boasted govt chef Phillip Winkler.
Winkler mentioned he and his his culinary crew have sourced the best beef, pork, rooster and seafood, relying closely on native substances. He mentioned native meals comprise no less than 75% of the menu, they usually’re placing adventurous twists on many dishes.
“You may see some wild issues on the menu,” he promised.
He mentioned they’ve additionally employed two pastry cooks, who’ll create such candy southern treats as selfmade bourbon butter pecan ice cream.
Govt Chef Phillip Winkler describes his Garrison Oak Steakhouse culinary creations in mouth-watering element throughout a preview tour of the brand new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility in Oak Grove, Ky., on Sept. 9, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
“We’re actually pushing native substances at Garrison Oak,” mentioned Winkler.
These native flavors additionally lengthen to the opposite three onsite eating places, together with the O’ Darkish Thirty Espresso Home, The Fortunate Lime Tex Mex eatery and Sgt. Peppers Burgers & Po’Boys, which presents extra informal, New Orleans-inspired fare just like the Double Down Burger.
Company even have their choose of a number of bars and lounges, together with the Peek-A-Boo Lounge within the foyer wanting out onto the gaming ground. There’s additionally the the sports activities bar on the gaming ground which is sits beneath an enormous 32-foot tv and stay leisure stage, in addition to a personal bar within the upscale VIP Lounge.
The bar contained in the VIP Lounge on the new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, set to open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
Lodge and harness racing
The lodge will open in mid-October, that includes 128 rooms together with 12 suites and a 2,200-square foot Presidential suite with its personal pool desk, mentioned Abner.
“It is greater than my very own home,” he chuckled.
Yet one more massive draw is the stay harness racing, which begins Oct. 14 and runs by way of mid-November on their 5/8 mile harness racing observe.
As they’re getting out of the gate, Abner mentioned they will run races weekday afternoons, Mondays by way of Wednesdays. He anticipates no less than 8-10 races per day, every that includes 6-8 horses. However he added they anticipate that schedule to develop.
The foyer of the Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility only a week earlier than their grand opening to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
“Our races might be simulcast to different states and to different off-track betting amenities,” he mentioned, noting there’s a simulcast room for friends to wager on races from across the nation.
He mentioned they anticipate to draw horses from throughout, and have constructed a number of giant stables to deal with them.
The raceway opening might be adopted by the opening of their out of doors amphitheater in late fall, which incorporates round 850 fastened seats and one other 2,000 garden seats.
“We’re wanting ahead to — when the time is correct — throwing some concert events on the market subsequent 12 months,” mentioned Abner of the amphitheater, positioned proper in the center of the racing observe.
Overlooking each are the lodge and the floor-to-ceiling home windows of the Grandstand Occasion Heart, which Abner mentioned seats as much as 800 individuals and might be out there for bookings once they open.
Oak Grove Racing & Gaming senior director of selling Jerry Abner discusses the grand opening of the brand new facility, scheduled for Sept. 18, whereas standing of their Grandstand Occasion Heart on Sept. 9, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
They anticipate to open the close by equestrian heart within the late fall, which Abner mentioned might be a giant indoor facility — across the dimension of a soccer discipline — which can maintain round 3,000 individuals for occasions like horse exhibits, rodeos, and extra.
Proper now, nonetheless, Abner mentioned all their amenities might want to function at round 50% capability to adjust to COVID-19 well being measures, and can have modified hours.
“The well being and security of our friends and teammates, that is the primary factor,” he mentioned.
Abner mentioned they will be doing day by day deep cleans, and have a particular clear crew going out hourly and disinfecting surfaces just like the gaming machines and chairs.
A few of the 1,300 historic horse racing machines which fill the gaming ground of the brand new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, only a week earlier than they open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
“It is what must be achieved to maintain all our friends protected,” he mentioned.
He added they’re asking friends to get a temperature test and reply a COVID-19 questionnaire on the property entrance, in addition to to put on masks and social distance inside the ability. He mentioned friends could also be requested to attend in the event that they’re at their restrict of 1,000 friends, round 50% of their whole capability.
“There will definitely be occasions once we hit these capability marks, and you will have to attend to return in,” mentioned Abner.
Beer faucets shine on a bar amid the glow of gaming machines within the Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, set to open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
However Abner and his crew consider the leisure expertise they’re providing might be well worth the wait.
“The spotlight is all of the various things out there to do in a single place. We actually seek advice from it as an leisure facility,” mentioned Abner. “We have obtained gaming machines, however if you happen to’re not into that, we have got eating places. We’ll have stay leisure. You possibly can watch sporting occasions on the large display screen TV’s. We’ll have the lodge. We’ll have harness racing. Ultimately, we’ll have stay concert events and the equestrian heart.”
“When of us stroll in right here, there’s nothing like this within the close by space. We would like individuals to return in right here and have a very good time,” mentioned Abner, including they need individuals to see them as being on par with a Vegas expertise.
“That is why we promote the Vegas vibes,” mentioned advertising supervisor Andra Ruffier.
A view of the sports activities bar with its 32-foot tv on the new Oak Grove Racing & Gaming facility, set to open to the general public on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photograph: Tony Centonze / For The Leaf-Chronicle)
For info, go to Oak Grove Racing & Gaming on-line at oakgrovegaming.com or name 270-713-8027. Reservations for Garrison Oak Steakhouse might be made on OpenTable. Job alternatives might be discovered on on their web site underneath the careers tab.
Attain Jennifer Babich at 931-245-0742 or by electronic mail at [email protected]
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