Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort

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Waterford Park
Aerial view of the park (located in the riverbend) and its surroundings
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is located in West Virginia
Location:WV 2, Newell, West Virginia
Coordinates:40°34′49″N 80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167Coordinates: 40°34′49″N 80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167
Area:77 acres (31 ha)
Built:1949
Architect:Boyle, A.J.
Architectural style:Moderne
Governing body:Private
NRHP Reference#:

02001528

[1]
Added to NRHP:December 12, 2002
 
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Waterford Park
Aerial view of the park (located in the riverbend) and its surroundings
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is located in West Virginia
Location:WV 2, Newell, West Virginia
Coordinates:40°34′49″N 80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167Coordinates: 40°34′49″N 80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167
Area:77 acres (31 ha)
Built:1949
Architect:Boyle, A.J.
Architectural style:Moderne
Governing body:Private
NRHP Reference#:

02001528

[1]
Added to NRHP:December 12, 2002

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is a thoroughbred racetrack and casino resort southwest of Chester, West Virginia (Wellsville, Ohio, across the Ohio River is actually closer), owned and operated by MTR Gaming Group.

Contents

History and information

Originally to be known as Waterford Downs, the track's parent company was incorporated in 1937.[2] The effort was led by Al Boyle, president of the Charles Town Races, who named it after his family's ancestral home of Waterford, Ireland.[3] The company's initial public offering was approved in February 1939, with the track expected to open the following September.[4] By August 1940, construction had not begun, but 250 acres of land had been bought or optioned.[5] In 1942, Boyle planned to begin construction of the track, but expected the grandstand to be delayed at least until 1943 by a steel shortage due to World War II.[6]

Construction was finally underway by July 1948, with opening scheduled for September 1949.[7] The name was changed to Waterford Park in 1950.[8] Opening day was finally held on May 19, 1951.[9][10]

The track was renamed as Mountaineer Racetrack in 1990. The track was authorized to have slot machines and installed them in 1994.

With the revenue that a casino of 3,200 slots, table games, and a hotel resort provides, the track is able to offer very good purses. The reputation of the track changed from being one of an old, run-down facility which raced only claimers to a track which was decent and respectable.

Mountaineer's image is further enhanced by nationwide coverage of the track's West Virginia Derby, a Grade II race that has significantly grown in stature and purse in the past decade. The first Saturday in August traditionally has been the day the Derby takes place, and is the only day of the calendar that the track offers afternoon racing. Otherwise, the races are run at night, at 7pm (Eastern Time).

Mountaineer announced the opening of 50 casino table games for December 20, 2007, including blackjack, three card poker, and roulette.

Physical attributes

The track has a main dirt track with a one mile oval. The turf course is seven furlongs long and inside the dirt. The track is curved slightly in the front stretch. The track also has a large casino and resort on site.

Racing

With the construction of the casino and resort at Mountaineer, the quality of racing has increased hugely.[citation needed] It is one of the busiest Thoroughbred courses in the country with 217 racing dates scheduled for 2012.Mountaineer generally runs 5 nights per week from March through December. The track has been able to offer purses much higher than those in neighboring states and thus have attracted larger field and the products of such a higher parimutuel handle and better attendance. Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort had been considered as a possible host for the 2009 Breeders' Cup, but it was awarded to Santa Anita.[11] The track runs many stakes and overnight handicaps. Here, in order, are the stakes that ran at Mountaineer in 2005:

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html. 
  2. ^ "New race track given state O.K.". Washington Post. October 10, 1937. http://search.proquest.com/docview/150879574.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  3. ^ Bennings, Bill (December 4, 1938). "At the Post". Washington Post. http://search.proquest.com/docview/150935387/.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  4. ^ "New West Va. track sanctioned by SEC". Washington Post. February 17, 1939. http://search.proquest.com/docview/151214186/.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  5. ^ "$500,000 race track work is set to begin this month". Youngstown Vindicator. August 4, 1940. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=uh9KAAAAIBAJ&sjid=r4UMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2324%2C1495632. 
  6. ^ "Tract bought for race plant". Youngstown Vindicator. January 2, 1942. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qGZKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m4YMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1580%2C575628. 
  7. ^ Haight, Walter (July 26, 1948). "Night flat racing not new in Md.". Washington Post. http://search.proquest.com/docview/151992830/.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Potpourri". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 28, 1950. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_MNRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=WGoDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1409%2C6298134. 
  9. ^ "Bill Bennings". Washington Post. May 18, 1951. http://search.proquest.com/docview/152396415/.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Tamale first at new track". New York Times. May 20, 1951. http://search.proquest.com/docview/111959214/.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  11. ^ '09 Breeders' Cup to be held at Santa Anita

External links