“We committed to creating a world-class resort that did not exist in Arkansas.” – LOUIS CELLA
In Hot Springs, the doors are now officially open at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort’s new hotel.
Oaklawn held the grand opening of its luxury hotel, spa and event center in late April, part of a $100 million expansion project. The eight-story hotel features 198 rooms, including two presidential suites, while the 15,000-square-foot event center provides a 1,900-square-foot stage, a video wall and seating for 1,500 people.
Oaklawn President Louis Cella said the expansion will take luxury in Arkansas to a new level: “It will enhance the entertainment experience at Oaklawn, in Hot Springs and throughout Arkansas, which will further elevate our status as a leading tourism and recreation destination.
“We committed to creating a world-class resort that did not exist in Arkansas.”
The expansion was announced in 2018, following a state ballot measure that expanded casino gaming in Arkansas, but had been planned since 2014.
Development and construction took place over the past 28 months. According to Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith, the development went off successfully despite the unexpected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the expansion project, Oaklawn is also constructing a new spa center called the Astral Spa. It will feature a needle shower, infrared sauna and a Himalayan salt wall.
Casino gaming has expanded as well with this project. The expanded gaming center has more than 1,500 slot machines and 33 gaming tables, and there is a new High Limits section, which has 80 slot machines, three high-limit blackjack tables, a private outdoor patio and a private bar.
There is also a bar outside the gaming center called the First Turn, as well as a fine dining restaurant called The Bugler. Oaklawn has also added a food court with three different dining options .
During the project, HGB Design of Memphis served as the architectural partner while Flintco of Springdale was the construction contractor.
— Tyler Hale