The green flag is waving today at Kansas Speedway. The thrill of racing, the excitement of gaming and the glamour of Hollywood have come together under one roof with the grand opening of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City’s first land-based, Las Vegas-style casino.
The new casino was developed and is operated by Kansas Entertainment, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture of Penn Hollywood Kansas, Inc., a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) and Kansas Speedway Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation (ISCA: NASDAQ Global Select Market; ISCB: OTC Bulletin Board) (“ISC”). All of the casino games at the facility are owned by the state of Kansas.
Penn National Gaming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Peter M. Carlino, and International Speedway Corporation CEO, Lesa France Kennedy, opened the casino at a ribbon cutting ceremony today alongside Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., Joe Reardon, a representative from Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s office, NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne as well as other local elected officials and executives from Penn National Gaming and ISC.
“As the first new casino in the Kansas City market in 15 years, Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway offers guests a state-of-the-art destination with premier gaming, dining and entertainment options,” commented Peter Carlino. “Just seconds from I-70, the facility’s luxurious design, modern grandeur and extensive amenities provides guests with a range of memorable experiences in an unparalleled, high energy setting on Turn Two of Kansas Speedway, a world class motorsports facility and host to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events annually.
“The facility’s 2,000 slot machines and 52 table games are complemented by the extraordinary red carpet service that is the hallmark of the Hollywood Casino brand. The property is another drawing card for Wyandotte County, which is already the top tourist destination in the state with more than 11 million visitors annually. Guests from near and far, including Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa can play in style on a single gaming floor and dine at five different restaurants, several with views of the track.
“We are grateful to the Kansas Lottery Commission and Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission for their efforts in ensuring that Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is opening on schedule. In addition, we welcome the partnerships we have established with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas and the many other local and state government officials and entities who have worked closely with our team throughout the planning and construction process. The facility opening will result in more than 1,000 new jobs as well as significant tax revenue and other sustainable economic benefits for the community, county and state."
The casino sits at Turn Two of the Kansas Speedway, overlooking the racetrack and is the first trackside casino in the ISC family of facilities.
“The combination of a world-class sports facility with the premier Hollywood-branded casino will set a new standard in gaming entertainment excellence,” stated Lesa France Kennedy. “We appreciate the collective confidence and support of state and local leaders that recognized the tremendous benefit that Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway will provide for the citizens of Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas.
“ISC and Kansas Speedway have been a collaborative partner with the community to increase area tourism and create jobs for more than a decade. We continue to make significant investments in the facility, most recently with the start of the speedway’s permanent road course construction. This partnership started with a mutual vision to create a true destination for visitors and residents, anchored by a premier motorsports racing facility. Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway will build upon our successful track record.”
Approximately four million guests are expected to visit Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway annually, bringing increased tourism and tax revenues to Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas. The total estimated economic benefit of the casino is $220 million annually.
Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway employs more than 1,000 workers from the greater Kansas City region and is seen as a significant driver of employment in the area at businesses that support the facility.
Slot Machines Throughout the Gaming Floor
The casino offers nearly 100,000 square feet of gaming.
“It’s an inviting and spacious casino floor with easy access to all the games; no turnstiles or space limitations here,” says Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway Vice President and General Manager Bob Sheldon.
Hollywood Casino features many player-popular games including high-profile TV show and movie themes such as Wheel of Fortune, Mission Impossible, The Hangover and Tarzan, as well as the area’s first Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers machines in honor of the casino’s Kansas roots.
Machines span from penny slots up to $25 and $100 denominations with a top award of a $100,000 jackpot. The higher limit machines are located near the Executive Producer’s Lounge, offering VIP players’ club members exclusive amenities and easy access to the slots they desire.
In addition, Hollywood Casino has a wide variety of video poker machines with competitive pay tables, including several located directly at the Sunset Bar.
Table Games and Poker
Blackjack, craps, roulette and carnival-style games are among the 52 live table games featured at Hollywood Casino with a wide range of minimum bets. Specific tables feature Craps-Free Craps, Mini Baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Fortune Pai Gow, Let it Ride Bonus and Three-Card poker.
The casino’s tables up the ante by offering a Royal Match side bet on blackjack and a progressive jackpot on select table games -- both unique features in the Kansas City market.
The high limit table game area is adjacent to the Executive Producer’s Lounge on the casino floor, making it easy for players to take a break from the action.
Designed for maximum guest comfort, the modern Hollywood Casino Poker Room is trimmed in rich woods, provides drink holders for players at every table and includes seven LCD screens showing sports programming during play. Hollywood Casino’s Poker Room features 12 live tables with games including Texas Hold’em -- with a bad beat jackpot -- Pot Limit Omaha, traditional 7-card stud and high limit options.
Hollywood Casino’s multi-tiered Marquee Rewards card allows guests to win whenever they play. Players earn points to redeem for downloadable promotional play, rewards, casino promotions and exclusive access to casino events, parking and lounges. Guests who play at Hollywood Casino as well as Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Riverside, also owned by Penn National Gaming, earn tier points at both casinos and can combine them to achieve a higher tier status faster. Soon after opening, players will have the ability to combine their earned rewards and use them at restaurants and outlets at both casinos.
The casino floor oozes Hollywood glamour. Elegant chandeliers and art deco columns combine with the latest video technology to transport guests to the Golden Age of Hollywood. A giant serpentine video wall projects movie trailers, vintage commercials and animation.
Numerous plasma screens and video trees interspersed between slot machines and table games allow guests to enjoy entertainment programming and live sports as they play.
“The Hollywood name says it all,” according to Bob Sheldon. “From the moment they walk in the building, our guests are immersed in the comfort and sophistication of the classic style of 1930s Hollywood.”
Hollywood Casino’s five restaurants provide great options for a range of tastes. The 103-seat Final Cut Steakhouse takes casino dining to a new level by combining the staples of a Kansas City chop house with a balanced menu of specialty dishes, homemade pastas, seafood and shellfish. The upscale restaurant is under the helm of Chef Marshall Roth, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York who’s worked at several James Beard award-winning restaurants around the world. The fine dining establishment, located right off the casino floor, offers sweeping views of the speedway. Guests dine among elegant glass display cases filled with gowns, tuxedos and accessories worn by Hollywood stars. Final Cut features an intimate cocktail lounge and 20-seat private dining room.
Casual diners will enjoy the variety and made-to-order attributes of the 282-seat Epic Buffet. Guests can enjoy a carving station, homemade pizza station, Asian station, salads, soups and sweets right on the casino floor.
Speedway lovers can have a drink or a meal while looking over the racetrack at Turn Two Lounge, a sports bar easily accessible from escalators on the casino floor. The roomy, 176-seat cocktail lounge is designed to offer every bar patron multiple views of sporting events on numerous flat screen televisions. An outdoor patio offers more than 40 seats on warmer nights. Access to Turn Two Lounge will be limited on race weekends.
Additional dining options include the Marquee Café, a casual and contemporary restaurant with 164 seats; the 24-hour Hollywood & Grind Coffee Bar, which also sells a range of speedway and Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway merchandise; the Sunset Bar, where guests can choose from 12 video poker machines located on the casino floor; and the VIP Lounge, an upscale player’s lounge offering food, cocktails and Hollywood’s signature red carpet service.
About Hollywood Casino at Kansas City Speedway
Hollywood Casino sits on Turn Two of the Kansas Speedway and is adjacent to The Legends Outlets Kansas City at Village West. It is the most accessible casino in the Kansas City market, just seconds from I-70 (110th Street exit) with a dedicated entrance that is separate from the speedway and does not require driving through Village West. The casino can also be reached by I-435 (State Avenue exit). With 2,300 gaming positions, Hollywood Casino is the Kansas City market’s only land-based, Vegas-style casino with gaming on one floor. Nearly 3,000 parking spaces and valet service are available. For more information, go to http://www.hollywoodcasinokansas.com/.
About Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The company presently operates twenty-six facilities in nineteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. In aggregate, Penn National's operated facilities feature approximately 29,700 gaming machines, approximately 640 table games, 2,400 hotel rooms and 1.2 million square feet of gaming floor space.
Penn National is also developing casinos in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio, with openings targeted for 2012.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may vary materially from expectations. Penn describes certain of these risks and uncertainties in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010. Meaningful factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, but are not limited to, risks related to the following: our ability to receive, or delays in obtaining, the regulatory approvals required to own, develop and/or operate our facilities, or other delays or impediments to completing our planned acquisitions or projects, including favorable resolution of any related litigation and/or enforcement of contingent settlement agreements; our ability to secure state and local permits and approvals necessary for construction; construction factors, including delays, unexpected remediation costs, local opposition and increased cost of labor and materials; the passage of state, federal or local legislation (including referenda) that would expand, restrict, further tax, prevent or negatively impact operations in or adjacent to the jurisdictions in which we do business (such as a smoking ban at any of our facilities) or in jurisdictions where we seek to do business; the effects of local and national economic, credit, capital market, housing, and energy conditions on the economy in general and on the gaming and lodging industries in particular; the activities of our competitors and the emergence of new competitors; our expectations for the continued availability and cost of capital; the maintenance of agreements with our horsemen, pari-mutuel clerks and other organized labor groups; the outcome of pending legal proceedings; changes in accounting standards; our dependence on key personnel; the impact of terrorism and other international hostilities; the impact of weather; and other factors as discussed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K as filed with the SEC. The Company does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements except as required by law.
About International Speedway Corporation
International Speedway Corporation is a leading promoter of motorsports activities, currently promoting more than 100 racing events annually as well as numerous other motorsports-related activities. The Company owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities, including Daytona International Speedway® in Florida (home of the DAYTONA 500®); Talladega Superspeedway® in Alabama; Michigan International Speedway® located outside Detroit; Richmond International Raceway® in Virginia; Auto Club Speedway of Southern CaliforniaSM near Los Angeles; Kansas Speedway® in Kansas City, Kansas; Phoenix International Raceway® in Arizona; Chicagoland Speedway® and Route 66 RacewaySM near Chicago, Illinois; Homestead-Miami SpeedwaySM in Florida; Martinsville Speedway® in Virginia; Darlington Raceway® in South Carolina; and Watkins Glen International® in New York.
The Company also owns and operates MRN® Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network and Americrown Service CorporationSM, a subsidiary that provides catering services, food and beverage concessions, and produces and markets motorsports-related merchandise. For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.internationalspeedwaycorporation.com.