Churchill Board OKs Second Phase of Master Plan

The board of directors of Churchill Downs Inc. has approved a $95-million expenditure to fund the second phase of a major construction project at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Phase II of the company's master plan is designed to improve operational efficiency and year-round use. The renovated clubhouse will feature numerous changes, including:

--At least one dozen, sixth-floor luxury suites;

--Expanded Turf Club facilities;

--New Millionaires' Row and Skye Terrace;

--Premium third-floor indoor and outdoor box seating;

--New dining and entertainment areas, including a food court and two lounges (smoking and non-smoking);

--Integrated simulcasting-wagering areas throughout the rebuilt facility;

--New elevators and escalators;

--Expanded restroom facilities;

--Gold Room for Twin Spires Club members;

--New press box and media facilities; and

--Centralized kitchen and food-storage facilities.

Phase II construction will begin in July 2003 and is scheduled for completion in 2005. The ongoing, $26-million first phase began in December 2001 and is slated for completion in the fall of 2003. That project entails renovation of the Jockey Club and Twin Spires and construction of luxury suites.

Churchill Downs Inc. president Tom Meeker said the board's decision was made with consideration of current economic conditions and a keen view for the company's long-term growth. "The master plan protects and preserves the company's signature racing facility and underscores our commitment to the community in spite of the growing competitive challenges we face in the Kentucky racing industry," he said.