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Churchill Downs opens Derby City Gaming Downtown in Louisville

7 Dec 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated announced the opening of Derby City Gaming Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky. The $90 million investment marks CDI’s sixth historical racing machine entertainment venue in Kentucky. The public grand opening festivities included a commemorative ribbon cutting and a $40,000 charitable donation to Norton Healthcare Foundation and The Hope Buss, reflecting CDI’s commitment to the revitalization of downtown Louisville.

The 43,000 sq. ft. two-story Kentucky Derby themed entertainment venue includes a gaming floor with 500 state-of-the-art HRMs featuring some of the most popular and fan favorite themes on the market. DCG Downtown offers three unique food and beverage experiences: First Turn Sports Bar & Stage hosts the property’s Race & Sports Book along with a stage for live entertainment, Trophy Bar Bourbon & Cigars offers the finest bourbons and hand-rolled cigars with a smoking patio and Fascinator Wine Bar provides an intimate atmosphere with a refined wine list and small bites. The entertainment destination includes 130 on-site guest parking spaces and boasts an exterior façade wrapped with the region’s first naked-eye 3D video board. A Kentucky Derby gift shop is located on the main level of the property with a dedicated street entrance for all ages.

“As you all know, racing is a key part of our history and our culture. Churchill Downs brings folks from across the state and across our world together,” said Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear. “This company isn't just resting on where they’ve been, they're laser focused on where they're going. They're working tirelessly to be even better to ensure their future and our future as Kentucky is brighter than ever.”

The development of DCG Downtown generated 400 construction jobs and will result in over 150 permanent jobs. CDI joined Messer Construction to focus project efforts on supplier diversity, economic inclusion and community engagement. Over $14 million of the investment was spent with Minority, Women and Veteran-owned subcontracting services.

"This project is one of which I'm particularly proud because in addition to its impact of the Kentucky horse industry, it's going to bring new energy to our downtown and stimulate investments like it,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Derby City Gaming Downtown will give locals, bourbon tourists, convention attendees and all our visitors, another much needed entertainment facility in this region. Investing in downtown Louisville was more than a financial decision. It is an investment in the spirit and the culture and the future of our city.”

The opening of DCG Downtown coincides with the milestone countdown of 150 days to the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. To celebrate, Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”) unveiled the official Kentucky Derby 150 Mint Julep Glass and Kentucky Oaks 150 Lily Glass. Churchill Downs also launched the #MyDerbyMemory contest, inviting fans across the globe to share their Derby memories on social media for a chance to win two tickets to the 150th Kentucky Derby to be held on May 4, 2024.
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