Massive buffet, more parking in the works

June 09, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Think the latest attraction at Charles Town Races & Slots is impressive? Stay tuned.

Track owners say they plan to build a large buffet at a cost of about $7 million and probably will build another parking garage at a cost of about $25 million.

The track, which has nearly 4,500 slot machines, now has a 2,500-space parking garage.

The ideal situation is to have a parking space for every slot machine, so track owners are looking to create more parking.

Having additional parking for people who come to the track for attractions other than slot machines also is a good reason to create more parking, said John Finamore, senior vice president of Regional Operations for Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns the track.


"We're not in the business of running out of parking," Finamore said.

Track owners probably will build a parking garage with room for as many as 2,700 vehicles, Finamore said.

Finamore said construction on the parking garage could begin late this year.

He said there are plans to build a buffet that will seat about 400 people on the ground level of the track.

The buffet, which could be open by the end of the year, will feature different food stations and cooked-to-order food, Finamore said. Also, it will include a "chocolate fountain," which circulates melted chocolate to be strewn over deserts, Finamore said.

Track owners still plan to construct a 150-room hotel on the property, but that is on hold until expanded sewer capacity is available in the county, Finamore said.

Other projects the track plans to complete this year include a new entrance to the track off West Washington Street, a new training track along Fifth Avenue and three new horse barns with 240 stalls.

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