Officials hope racino brings business boom

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Now that all of the agreements are finally in place for that long-awaited racino in Austintown, there could be even more growth coming to the area near Interstate 80 and state Route 46 in the township.

Already one new hotel, Holiday Inn’s Candlewood Suites, is nearing completion just north of the interstate and another, which is reportedly part of the Hilton chain, is planned nearby as well. In addition, a number of parcels of land are for sale along Route 46 and others are being re-zoned by the township for possible commercial and retail development.

“I think the casino coming is going to make Austintown as a whole more attractive. It’s going to bring more restaurants, more shopping, more hotels, but there’s obviously room for it,” said Rachel Miskell of Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Besides the addition of new development, trustees said a number of existing businesses, including the Bob Evans Restaurant, have gone through significant remodeling projects to be ready for the growth when it comes. The new multi-million dollar racino, owned and operated by Penn National Gaming, should be ready by this fall. It will feature slot machines and horse racing, but no table games.

“I think that now when you drive by 46 and you see that huge monstrosity of a racino back there, that this could easily rest the skeptics’ minds that is this or is this not going to happen? This is a reality and now the potential for our community to grow is outstanding,” said Austintown Trustee Jim Davis.

Davis said the area always has been attractive for growth,  just because of its proximity to one of the busiest highway interchanges in the state.

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