VINTON, LA (KPLC) - The $45 million Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel expansion project has officially started.
Local and state leaders came out Wednesday to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony.
It's the middle of the week but the parking lots at Delta Downs are full — and the cars keep on coming.
More people are heading to Delta Downs to spend time at the casino, racetrack or hotel and that's reason enough to expand this adult playground.
"Vinton and Lake Charles and the whole of Southwest Louisiana have been growing greatly. We have a great property here; the problem is we can't accommodate all the guests who want to come and visit us, with only 200 hotel rooms," said Boyd Gaming CEO and President Keith Smith.
The first phase of the project is a brand-new pool. The project also includes a new-and-improved restaurant and events center, along with the addition of 167 hotel rooms and renovations to the existing 200 rooms.
It's an expansion that Vinton Mayor Kenneth Stinson said will be economically beneficial, not only for Vinton but for the whole parish.
"It'll help the entire Calcasieu Parish as far as gaming. With the gaming places in Westlake and Lake Charles, this is just an addition to that to get people another option to come. It helps Vinton in the ways of jobs. I mean, with the new hotel rooms, they'll need to hire extra people; the eating places will need to hire extra people," he said.
Tana Johnson lives in Houston, Texas and she comes to Delta Downs about three times a month. She said she's anxiously awaiting the new dining option.
"Restaurants. I think that's the most important thing because a lot of people come here and they don't eat. They just come to play; they play and then they're ready to chow down," she said.
The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.