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11.14.2011

Southland Park Gaming & Racing to Begin $10 Million Renovation


Project will add space for 200 more games and new sports bar and lounge
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Nov. 14, 2011) – Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, Ark., today announced it is set to begin a $10 million renovation of its gaming and hospitality amenities in December to better serve a fast-growing patron base.

The popular Mid-South entertainment destination near Memphis, Tenn., will add new features to its gaming floor, including 200 additional gaming machines – bringing the venue’s total to 1,200.

A new sports bar and lounge are also planned. The project will allow all the venue’s gaming machines and table games to be better spaced and add much-needed kitchen and serving space to the popular World Market Buffet.

“We’ve built our business on providing guests with exciting gaming and racing, delicious food and great hospitality, but we need more space to do it,” said Troy Keeping, Southland Park’s president and general manager.

“This project will ensure our guests can make the most of their visits and are comfortable while they’re here. Our hard-working staff will have the additional space and tools they need to keep providing great service,” Keeping said.

The project is expected to be completed by May 2012. Southland Park is owned and operated by global hospitality provider Delaware North Companies.

“Southland Park has been a great success story for Delaware North, and we are grateful to our dedicated management team and staff there for what they’ve accomplished,” said William Bissett, president of Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. “The support from West Memphis, the region and the State of Arkansas has also been tremendous, and Delaware North is proud to be able to expand our positive effect on the local and state economy.”

Already one of the area’s largest employers, Southland Park plans to add 60 new jobs, hourly as well as management positions, to its current workforce of 550. Keeping said that represents nearly an additional $2 million in payroll and benefits, bringing that total to almost $17 million annually. The project will also create a number of temporary construction jobs. Crossland Construction Co. Inc. in Rogers, Ark., was selected as the construction manager.

In addition, the expansion is expected to increase Southland Park’s tax contributions to the City of West Memphis, Crittenden County and the State of Arkansas by more than $3.4 million – to a total of more than $19.5 million annually. The amount in purses paid to kennel operators is also projected to grow $2.4 million – to just over $16 million in 2012.

“We also hope to increase our already substantial support of local charitable and community organizations,” Keeping said. “Providing help to these organizations is very important to Southland Park and Delaware North.”

Keeping said Southland Park will phase the work so there is no disruption to guests. Below is a summary of the project:

• The facility’s current event center, gift shop and player rewards club will be demolished to open up space on the west end of the building to accommodate the larger gaming floor and new central circular sports bar and lounge with their own service areas.

• A permanent stage for promotions and entertainment will also be built at the end of the gaming floor.

• A new and improved player rewards club area will be built off of the expanded gaming floor in a currently undeveloped area.

• The current event center will be relocated to the Mezzanine level. The area currently known as the Starting Gate will be completely renovated into a new event center to become a full-fledged banquet room with its own kitchen. It will be able to accommodate banquets of 500 people and other functions and community events of up to 700 people.

• The World Market Buffet’s kitchen and service allies will be expanded.

Guests will continue to be able to dine at the World Market Buffet, Quinn & Ella’s Café, or Bourbon Street Steakhouse and Grill, the popular contemporary restaurant added in 2008. In addition to the new sports bar and lounge, Southland Park will continue to host live music at the Juke Joint.

The project will be the latest in a series of improvements made by Delaware North to the 55-year-old racing venue. In 2007, Delaware North made a $40 million investment to bring 600 gaming machines and various added hospitality amenities to Southland Park. In 2008, the company renovated a wagering room for racing enthusiasts called Winner’s Edge and added The Bourbon Street Steakhouse and Grill. Additional gaming machines have been added since 2007.
Contact(s):
Bobbi Jones
Southland Park Gaming & Racing
(870) 735-8384
bjones@dncinc.com

About Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Southland Park Gaming & Racing has been a major racing venue for more than 55 years and currently features 1,000 electronic gaming machines, including video poker, roulette, craps and blackjack. It also features the Bourbon Street Steakhouse and Grill, World Market Buffet, Juke Joint bar with live entertainment, and a 450-seat Event Center. Southland Park has long been a pivotal fixture of the West Memphis community, strongly supporting the community with jobs, business stability, and economic contributions. It has consistently won awards for its outstanding community service, including millions of dollars donated to neighborhood charities and educational institutions. Southland Park is owned and operated by Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. www.southlandpark.com

About Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment
Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment is one of the most innovative gaming and racing operators in the country, owning and/or operating several successful regional destination casinos and specializing in racing venues with added amenities such as table games, video gaming machines, poker rooms, full-service restaurants, retail shops and lodging. The company operates gaming and hospitality services at locations in New York, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The company is owned by Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and one of the largest privately held companies in the world. www.DelawareNorth.com.

About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the largest and most admired privately held hospitality companies in the world. Founded and owned by the Jacobs family for nearly 100 years, it is a global leader in hospitality and food service. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Garden. Delaware North Companies has revenue exceeding $2 billion annually and 55,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.
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