The economic development arm of the Pueblo of Laguna
has acquired a commercial racetrack in Kentucky.
Ellis Entertainment, a newly-created subsidiary of Laguna Development Corporation
, purchased the Ellis Park Racetrack
for $11 million, according to a press release
. The deal was approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at a meeting
“We are both honored and excited for the opportunity to purchase Ellis Park, one of Kentucky’s oldest and most revered racetracks," Kevin Greer, the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of LDC
, said in the release. "We appreciate the knowledge and support the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has provided us while we prepare to restore Ellis Park to its rightful place as one of the Bluegrass State’s premier racing facilities.”
Ellis Park Racetrack debuted historical horse racing machines in 2012. The machines allow patrons to wage bets on previously run races.
Plans call for $55 million investment in the property, according to the release. The project includes more space for additional historical horse racing machines, as well as renovations to the grandstands, barns and other amenities.
The work will be complete in time for the 2020 racing season, BloodHorse reported. The upcoming 2019 season will be managed by the Saratoga Casino & Hospitality Group, the current owner of Ellis Park.
"We remain committed to the upcoming racing season at Ellis Park and ensuring that it is one of the most successful the property has seen in years,” Daniel Gerrity, the group's president, said in the release. “We look forward to working closely with Ellis Entertainment in the coming months to ensure a seamless transition of ownership."
In addition to winning approval to buy the track, Ellis Entertainment secured a license from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The license authorizes horse racing, simulcasting and pari-mutuel wagering, according to the agenda
from Tuesday's meeting.
Ellis Entertainment was incorporated as a limited liability company in February, according to articles of incorporation
on file with the Kentucky Secretary of State. Laguna Development Corporation is listed as the only organizer.
LDC manages the Pueblo of Laguna's three gaming facilities in New Mexico, including the flagship Route 66 Casino Hotel. The firm's portfolio
also includes some retail properties.
LDC has attempted to enter the commercial gaming industry in the past. But efforts in Louisiana
and other proposals
back home in New Mexico
never came to fruition.
Read More on the Story
Ellis Park Sold for Second Time in a Year
(BloodHorse June 18, 2019)
Ellis Park sale approved; new owners have $100 million in plans for lights, restaurants, hotel
(The Henderson Gleaner June 18, 2019)
Ellis Park to Undergo New Ownership
(Spectrum News June 18, 2019)
Sale of Ellis Park approved, new owners plan to invest $100 million
(14News June 18, 2019)
Sale of Ellis Park to Laguna Development Corporation approved unanimously
(WEHT June 18, 2019)
Ellis Park Racetrack in Henderson Sold to Albuquerque Group
(WKU June 18, 2019)
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