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Plans Released For New Racino

Bonnie-Castle-Image (2).JPG

Published: October 12, 2011 4:09 pm ET

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Site plans for a $140 million proposed new racetrack, casino and hotel, minutes from the Ontario/New York border and just 15 kilometers from Ontario's Highway 401, have been released.

Backers behind the proposed harness racing facility, to be located in Alexandria Bay, New York, beside the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center, have released preliminary drawings and site plans for the project. The plan is estimated to cost $140 million.

According to a report by the Watertown Daily Times, the expansion of the existing facilities would feature a five-eighths mile racecourse, a multi-purpose 500 seat grandstand, a 30,000-square-foot casino featuring VLTs, a simulcast area, a nightclub and a 125-room hotel located on the east side of the existing ice rink. There would also be a future half-mile training track erected.

The location, which is at the base of the Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting Canada to the United States, is less than 15 kilometers from the 401, just 30 kilometers from Gananoque, ON and 60 kilometers from Kingston, ON. For Eastern Ontario horsemen, the track is located between Kawartha Downs in Peterborough and Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa. The site is 135km from Belleville, ON where a stalled racino facility is still planned.

Bonnie Castle’s owners, Marc Fernandez and his father-in-law, Donald Cole, are looking to secure New York State's much sought after eighth and final harness racing license. According to the report, the pair has the backing of an unnamed casino development company.

(With files from the Watertown Daily Times)

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