HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) As some upgrades continue at Ellis Park, and work goes on at the planned extension in Owensboro, others that were originally announced a few years have yet to materialize. 

Among those was a new hotel.

A new pond and wash stations are among the things going up behind the Ellis Park track.

“You’ve got to improve everything. We want top trainers, top horses, which we’ve had the last couple of years,” said Jeff Hall, Director of Racing at Ellis Park.

One thing that hasn’t gone up yet is a planned hotel, which was one part of Ellis Park’s three phase expansion and upgrades. General Manager Jeff Inman says a planned $65 million loan was not completed due to the pandemic causing parent company Laguna to be closed for more than two months. 

“We were, actually, two weeks away from closing our financing,” he said.

while that lead to the potential hotel being delayed, they were able to get about $35 million in financing, which did cover other upgrades such as the audio system, and help fund construction of the Owensboro extension at towne square mall. 

“We were able to keep our feet on the ground, able to make a small, very small profit, so we were able to keep our head above water, and to the point where we can get financing and be able to move forward,” said Inman.

Inman says they now want to get the extension, expected to open next year, up and making a steady revenue stream before starting on the hotel.

“Once we build one, we go to the next,” said Inman. “Once we get Owensboro going and earning revenue, then we will continue to the next step of expansion.”

Inman also says it could be at least three years after the Owensboro location opens before any hotel here at Ellis Park will open.

(This story was originally published on May 25, 2022)