Still no final approval for Austintown racino project - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Updated

Still no final approval for Austintown racino project

Posted: Updated:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Construction of a racino in Austintown could be delayed at least four to six months.

The Ohio State Racing Commission is asking for more additional seats with a live view of horse racing at the future racetrack before they will give final approval to the proposed Hollywood Mahoning Valley Racecourse.

Penn National developers stood by their design at the commission's meeting in Columbus Wednesday, but the commission did not budge on its request for the company to, at the very least, add glass enclosed bleachers for more seating and more horse boarding stalls.

The commission is recommending more seats in addition to the 518 seats already in the building plan that boast a view of the track and a total of 1,000 stalls.

During and after the meeting, Penn National cried foul alleging the commission's standards for a new thoroughbred race track continue to change during each design review.

"They came up with a number for an additional 650 seats, a number we've never heard before," says Bob Tenenbaum, spokesperson for Penn National. "It's frustrating because we were ready to award about $4 million worth of steel and foundation contracts on each of the sites in Dayton and Austintown."

Penn National was hoping the commission would grant approval for the transfer of a racetrack license from a Columbus area track to its more than 180-acre site off of state Route 46, but its team will have to go back to the drawing board to work on a new design.

An township trustee in Austintown, Jim Davis, echoes the company's concern that the commission should outline the criteria required for a racetrack in the state.

"It seems like this board seems to be disfunctional in the fact that they don't have any rules or regulations set forth that you can come in and know exactly what it will take to open a racetrack in the state of Ohio," Davis says.

The commission maintains it's trying to keep a focus on the racing sport in tact.

"There was genuine shock that the initial plans only had seating for 208 race fans, nobody could have imagined that the facility could have been that inadequate," says Mark Munroe, a racing commissioner.

The start date for construction of the racino was set for the first week of April. Now that the $250 million project is eyeing a set back, construction and 1,000 racino jobs that were supposed to follow will be put on hold.

Davis says spinoff economic development linked to the anticipated racino and shale industry is still in motion. He says at least one hotel is applying for zoning permits.

"Candlewood Suites is an extended stay, so you'd see people from the gas and oil industry staying in hotels like that," he says.

The hotel chain is in the process of reserving a location behind the Holiday Inn Express off of Route 46 near Interstate 80. Davis says a second hotel is also interested in moving in, but a name and details are not available at this time.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:06:02 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.
    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.More >>
    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.More >>
  • Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:07 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:07:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...
    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.More >>
    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.More >>
  • FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    Sunday, April 22 2018 9:16 AM EDT2018-04-22 13:16:06 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:17 PM EDT2018-04-22 17:17:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.
    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.More >>
    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.More >>
  • Mercer County proposes location for TJX center

    Mercer County proposes location for TJX center

    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:46 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:46:54 GMT

    Lordstown community members may have said no to the TJX HomeGoods Distribution Center but officials in Mercer County are saying yes. 

    More >>

    Lordstown community members may have said no to the TJX HomeGoods Distribution Center but officials in Mercer County are saying yes. 

    More >>
  • Spaghetti Dinner to benefit 4-year-old Struthers girl

    Spaghetti Dinner to benefit 4-year-old Struthers girl

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:40 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:40:55 GMT

    The family Sabella family is hosting another benefit Sunday for their 4-year-old daughter, Nora.

    More >>

    The family Sabella family is hosting another benefit Sunday for their 4-year-old daughter, Nora.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms