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Plans filed for hotel at Charles Town track

August 24, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The owners of Charles Town Races & Slots have filed plans with Jefferson County officials for a long-anticipated hotel they intend to build next to the track.

Construction could begin as early as next spring, a track official said.

Track owners have submitted plans for a 150-room hotel, which will cost about $15 million, said John Finamore, senior vice president of regional operations for Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns the track.

The hotel, which also will include an indoor swimming pool, a small workout room and conference and meeting space, would be built next to Sheetz at the intersection of East Washington Street and Flowing Springs Road, according to plans in the Jefferson County Planning Commission office.

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Construction will take about a year, and the project could begin in the spring of 2006, Finamore said Tuesday.

The three-story hotel, which will have a stucco exterior, will be known as The Inn at Charles Town, according to plans.

Finamore said there is a lack of motel space in Jefferson County, a situation that is illustrated constantly at the track.

The first question patrons often ask track employees when they arrive is how to get to the facility's hotel, Finamore said.

When they learn no hotel is on the property, they often go home or stay in motels in Martinsburg, W.Va., or Winchester, Va., when local motels are filled, Finamore said.

"We've known for a long time there was a strong demand," Finamore said.

The next step in the track's hotel project is a review of the site plan by the planning commission staff. If the site plan is approved by the staff, it will be sent to the planning commission for consideration, planning commission officials said.

The hotel is one of two lodging facilities expected to be built in the area.

Holiday Inn plans to build a 144-room motel along Flowing Springs Road, a short distance east of the intersection with Fifth Avenue in Ranson, W.Va., Ranson City Manager David Mills recently said.

Holiday Inn has wanted to build the motel but has been delayed because of limited sewer capacity from the City of Charles Town, Mills said.

But since Charles Town is expected to expand its sewer plant, work should be able to begin soon on the motel, Mills said.

It will take about six to nine months to build the motel, Mills said.

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