Remington Park nearing completion of casino

Thursday, October 20th 2005, 10:04 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Remington Park expects to hire 250 permanent full-time employees to help staff a new casino scheduled to open on Thanksgiving.

The state's largest horse track currently is looking to hire about 320 employees for its expanded operations. The jobs include positions in food and beverage operations, gaming, finance, cage and counting rooms, security and maintenance. Pay will range between $6 and $15 an hour for some of the jobs, but a few will pay much higher.

The addition of a new casino at Remington Park, authorized by state voters in November, is part of a $33 million makeover at the track.

Annual payroll before the expansion was at $4 million and is expected to increase to $11.5 million, said Scott Wells, Remington Park's general manager.

``We're creating new jobs, supporting education and promoting tourism in the state, while reinforcing one of the state's most important agricultural industries, the horse industry,'' Wells said.

``With the racing side, we had a lot of seasonal employees,'' Wells said. ``On overall expenditures, we're talking about an investment of $60.5 million in getting open and for operating in 2006. And virtually all of that will be spent in this market.''

Remington's racino is being built on the second floor, resulting in the loss of half of the grandstand area that holds nearly 4,000 people.

Buffet dining capable of seating 164 customers will adjoin the gaming floor. Plans also include construction on the same floor for a simulcasting parlor and an entertainment stage.

Renovations include $11.5 million for construction; $9 million for computer monitoring, surveillance upgrades, furnishings and fixtures; and up to $2 million for double shift work and other costs associated with a quick turnaround.

Remington officials also said they are spending $9.8 million on its 650 gambling machines. That would make it the state's only casino to own all of its machines.

``Oklahomans will have reason to get excited about what's happening out here,'' Wells said. ``When this is all said and done, Remington Park will be the crown jewel of the emerging Oklahoma Adventure District.''