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Comfort and Joy to be Found at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing and Casino Indiana

Harrah’s Hoosier Park in Indiana completes a $40 million expansion. By Ryan Slattery

Caesars Entertainment has poured $40 million into a full-scale renovation of Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Anderson, Indiana property, which the company acquired in 2018, underwent a massive remodel that added gaming space to a casino that holds 1,450 slot machines and 40 table games, as well as new dining experiences. The exterior includes a redesigned porte-cochere, a prominently lit Harrah’sHoosier Park sign and a new façade.

Since acquiring Harrah’s Hoosier Park from Centaur Gaming, Caesars Entertainment has elevated the horse racing property. It added a sports book in 2019, introduced table games in 2020, and unveiled the Hoosier Outdoor Pavilion in 2023. Casino Life caught up with Senior Vice President and General Manager Colin Skidmore to talk about the renovations.

A $40 million project is a big commitment. What led to the investment?

Well, in 2020, our property launched table games. Prior to that, our casino had been slots- and video poker-only since opening in 2008. With table games opening up, it became apparent that there were a number of things that needed changing to make this a better experience for both our guests and team members. This property hadn’t been designed for tables, so there were issues of space and the layout needed to be addressed. You know, as we’re looking at these things, we begin to see other opportunities. Maybe some more open space near our cashier’s window, maybe high limits could use a bar, maybe a refreshed dining experience. Eventually, it was decided that a full property expansion was really what was warranted.

Why was now the right time for the expansion of Hoosier Park?

There’s never exactly a convenient time to renovate an entire property, so the thought was to get it done as soon as possible, once we understood what was needed. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our guests, and since the impact of adding table games was so immediate, we felt the implementation of improvements needed to be just as immediate. That said, we were thoughtful about the project and utilized a number of phases as to be careful to structure the expansion work in such a way that guest impact was minimal for as long as possible.

How would you describe Hoosier Park?

It’s a very unique property in that it feels welcoming and accessible to all types of people, while still having the feel of a Las Vegas casino. We’re very fortunate to be able to offer virtually every type of gaming experience a guest may be interested in: slots, table games, a sports book, and we have a standardbred racetrack that runs eight months a year. Then you throw in our dining and beverage options, where we have five restaurants — including a fine dining steakhouse — and six bars, including one meant for our non-smoking guests. So it’s got something for everybody.

You’ve said the property is unrecognizable now. How dramatic were the changes?

Where to begin? Well, we’ve doubled the size of the casino floor. We now have a much larger, much brighter, high-limit area. We have opened a promotions-and-events center, so all of our events now have a fixed, centralized location. The casino exterior itself has received a facelift, complete with a new porte-cochère. We’ve got brand new carpet throughout the casino. Not to mention much more thought and care was put into the spacing and variety of both slots, and table games.

What are some of the most exciting new amenities brought to the property?

High limits has its own bar and private bathroom now. We’ve expanded our parking, especially for our disabled guests and veterans. We’ve got a new, outdoor patio area for families in our local community to come out and enjoy racing and live music. We also have a beautiful dining area on the casino floor which overlooks our exciting, standardbred horse racing track.

Describe the design aesthetic. What were the ideas and motivation for the new look?

Bright, colorful and fun. That’s a big part of our mission statement here at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. We want this to feel like a fun, comfortable place to come out and play. We’ve also added some touches that are a little more modern, something to kind of elevate the aesthetic we had before.

Tell us about the big changes to the casino floor?

We’ve added a large number of slots and table games. We’re currently at more than 1,400 slot machines and over 40 table games. We’ve got a new dining area located right off of the casino floor with an expansive seating area. Whether you’re talking space, aesthetics, or just variety, it’s a night-and-day comparision.

Could we talk a bit about the high-limit room?

We’ve consolidated our high-limit table games and slots into one area, while actually expanding on space for both. We’ve also added a bar and restroom to the high-limit area, which is a first for our property. Table games minimums range from $50 and up with maximums over $10K. Other accommodations can be discussed for those VIP guests with an appetite for more exciting limits.

The expansion introduces the Center Bar's new design. What is that like?

It’s a much more elevated, roomy space now with over 16 TVs. Brand-new furniture, brand-new counter space, video poker right at the counter. Again, it’s a result of our keeping things focused on creating a fun and exciting atmosphere and making sure that it’s right at the center of the action.

What new restaurants were added?

We’ve got the Dash Café and the Slice Pizzeria at our new dining area, located right off of the casino floor. Dash offers a ton of great, fast, casual dining options, including a quick-service Grab & Go. Slice Pizzeria offers up New York-style pizza, which guests can enjoy as a slice or a whole pie. And we’ve got an absolutely beautiful dining area to enjoy this in, with a direct view of our racetrack.

For more information, visit www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com

Casino Life would like to thank Senior Vice President and General Manager Colin Skidmore for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview

*** This exclusive feature interview was originally published in March 2024 edition of Casino Life Magazine Issue 164 ***