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Charles Town Races & Slots' new $21 million hotel set to open this weekend

September 04, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Walking through the front entrance, a large flat-screen television in the lobby churns out the latest news from CNN.

Behind the television and a fireplace is a nine-seat lobby bar where patrons can kick back and relax. Across a foyer is where hot breakfasts will be served.

Welcome to Charles Town Races & Slots' new $21 million hotel, set to open this weekend.

The 153-room, four-story hotel will open to the public Friday and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, said Tiffany Lawrence, the track's marketing and public relations administrator.

The Inn at Charles Town was built to give track patrons more lodging options, track officials have said.

Many patrons assumed that the track and gambling resort had its own hotel, but when they realized there was not one, they often went home or stayed in motels in Martinsburg, W.Va., or Winchester, Va., when local motels filled up, track officials have said.

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Construction on The Inn at Charles Town started last summer, and employees have been working at a feverish pace to get ready for Friday's opening.

The hotel along the main entrance to the track off East Washington Street was bustling again Wednesday as front desk clerks worked on reservations and other preparations.

"Everything's coming together on time. Everyone that is employed here is very, very excited for the opening," said Dave Lueben, hotel guest services manager.

Members of the track's Players Choice club, who get deals on track offerings, were given discounts on rooms and patrons also received discounts if they reserved rooms online, Lawrence said.

So far, the hotel is about 75 percent full for Friday night, Lawrence said.

Rooms will be priced as low as $109 a night but can increase during special track events. There are nine junior suites that cost $25 more, six executive suites that cost $50 extra and three VIP suites that cost $75 more, hotel officials said.

Track employees have been staying in the hotel this week to run showers and to test other track amenities to make sure everything is running smoothly, Lawrence said.

The hotel is appointed in a beige theme and, depending on the level of the suite, the top rooms offer features like glass-enclosed showers, whirlpool tubs, flat-screen televisions, wet bars and balconies that over look the thoroughbred track.

"This bathroom, ladies, is wonderful," Lawrence said as she led a group of track employees on a tour of a VIP suite Wednesday afternoon.

An exercise room is on the first floor and the breakfast dining room can seat 43 people.

A shuttle bus system will take patrons to and from the main grandstand area.

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