The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved the sale of Ellis Park to Ellis Entertainment LLC. The Albuquerque-based company confirmed Tuesday it had purchased the park for $11 million. During Tuesday’s meeting at Turfway Park, plans were laid out on how Ellis Park is looking to expand the facility and operations.
According to a press release, former owners Saratoga Casino will continue to operate the racetrack and will serve as managers and operators during the 2019 racing season in accordance with the agreement with the new buyers.
The transaction was approved in time for the upcoming meet to start on June 30th. The plans will include three phases:
- Phase 1 has already taken place, with work on the current facility. This includes taking out unsafe Barnes, improve drainage at the track, work on portions of the Grandstand, and replacement of the HVAC system in the Sky Terrace. They also repaired the roof over the Clubhouse.
- Phase 2 work is planned to begin in the late fall, which includes the widening of the Turf Track by three lanes and lights being put in at the park. The lights will allow racing to take place at night if desired. They will also build a new facility, which will include the 1200 Historical Racing Machines that the track hopes to have up and running. Currently, they only have 300 machines. This phase is expected to be completed by fall 2020.
- Phase 3 will include a hotel to be built over the first turn.
The transfer of ownership is scheduled to be completed within the next several days.