Casino plans will shut down Remington Park, officials say

Wednesday, January 23rd 2008, 8:58 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

Remington Park officials said their casino, which has given the track new life, wouldn't be able to compete with a tribal casino just two miles away, and they would be forced to shut down.

The Shawnee tribe proposed building a $400 million destination resort in northeast Oklahoma City.

The resort would have a 400 room hotel, a 2,400 seat performing hall, five or six restaurants and of course a casino.

The Shawnee are going to need local support of their plan in order to get the required federal approvals. Local officials might be less likely to jump on board if they believe the Shawnee's development is going to hurt Remington Park.

Chamber of Commerce President Roy Williams spoke at Wednesday's news conference. He said it's critical that Shawnee developers work closely with Remington and others whose businesses they could potentially be affecting.

Shawnee officials said the high quality resort they have planned would bring an additional 750,000 visitors to the Adventure District annually. It could be enough to actually improve Remington Park's business.

The future viability of Remington Park is also critically important to the Millwood school district. Superintendent of Millwood Schools, Gloria Griffin, said Remington Park pays more than a third of Millwood's bonding capacity.

"Should Remington not be able to provide their part of our existing bond funds for our new high school that's being constructed, that will roll over to our residential taxpayers," Griffin said.

Shawnee officials said today was just a first step. Next is trying to negotiate a compact with Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County. Then they would perhaps work a deal with Remington Park, one that could include payments of some sort.