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[Cross Lanes] Racetrack and gaming center expansion

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Cross Lanes track plans 12,000-seat arena, high-rise hotel

Notes --

1. The Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center announced today that it would invest $250 million to expand its Cross Lane's facility -- which includes a dog race track and gaming center -- if Kanawha County voters approve of table games at a June 9 special sesson.

2. The rendering shows a 250-room high-rise hotel, a conference center, a 12,000-seat event arena, a four-story 5,000-space parking garage, and an underground parking facility. It would also feature a sporting event and enterainment complex, a luxury spa, restaurants, boutique shops, additional gaming areas, pools and convention facilities.

3. Construction would take 16 months to complete and create up to 1,000 jobs. The average salary would be $35,000 plus tips.

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Article information: "Cross Lanes track plans 12,000-seat arena, high-rise hotel, by George Hohmann, Daily Mail [Charleston], May 09, 2007"

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Track expansion would increase traffic congestion in Cross Lanes area

Notes --

1. Traffic congestion will surely increase on roads that already suffer from severe traffic congestion.

1a. One proposal the track officials want is a new interchange from Interstate 64 directly to the casino.

2. The track and casino has already received a call from a group that wants to bring 3,500 people to the proposed convention center.

3. The estimated price tag was $250 million, but upgrades could push this to $500 million.

4. The convention center would have "a couple of hundred thousand square feet."

4a. The gaming area would be expanded from 90,000 sq. ft. to 150,000 sq. ft.

Article information: "Track expansion would increase traffic congestion in Cross Lanes area, by George Hohmann, Daily Mail [Charleston], May 10, 2007"

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Nitro racetrack cuts size of planned entertainment arena

Notes --

1. At the request of Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, the proposed expansion has been made smaller. This was done to ease public perception that the planned 12,000-seat arena would be in direct competition with the 13,500-seat Charleston Civic Center. It is now proposed to have between 6,000 and 6,500 seats.

2. Rumors of an arena, which is only 13 miles from Charleston, that would dwarf the Civic Center could have led some voters to reject the table games proposal.

3. Charleston's Mayor is heavily promoting the table games proposal and the expansion. Officials have stated that the track and its expansion would promote events at the Civic Center. A shuttle and limousine service for track visitors would be installed for them to attend the events at the Civic Center.

Article information: "Nitro racetrack cuts size of planned entertainment arena, by Matthew Thompson, Daily Mail, May 23, 2007"

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Tri-State Racetrack wants new Interstate 64 interchange

Notes --

1. Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center wants a new Interstate 64 interchange constructed west of the Cross Lanes interchange since it would ease congestion at the existing exit. The center states that "increased traffic congestion" is "a real possibility" if voters approve table games.

2. The West Virginia Department of Highways, however, does not have the money for the project. A 2004 study by West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and other subsequent reviews have stated that the state's road fun has not kept up with inflation. An increase in revenue is necessary to maintain the existing highway system.

3. DOH has agreed to do a traffic count to see how much traffic goes into Cross Lanes, the racetrack, and to the Nitro Marketplace. But actual construction is most likely not possible -- the DOH has a 170-project wish list. The interchange is not on it.

3a. The only Tri-State project on the wish list comes in at #79 - Widening WV 622 from three to five lanes from Interstate 64 to just north of WV 62. It is a .8 mi. project that could cost $19.2 million.

3b. The DOH built an interchange off of Interstate 70 for Cabella's in 2005 that cost $13 million.

3c. Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort has lobbied for years for a new bridge to be constructed across the Ohio River to improve access. It is currently #100 on the list, estimated to cost $50 million.

3d. Total, the wish list comes out to $19.5 BILLION. The state currently has no sources of funding for the vast majority of the projects.

Article information: "Tri-State Racetrack wants new Interstate 64 interchange, by George Hohmann, Daily Mail [Charleston], June 5, 2007"

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