PENN bolsters regional portfolio with Midwestern groundbreakings

Hollywood Casino Columbus
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PENN Entertainment has significantly enhanced its stable of regional land-based properties as it celebrates the beginning of construction for two new properties in the Midwest.

The operator has marked the groundbreaking of a new hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus in Ohio and the construction of a new property in Hollywood Casino Aurora in Illinois. Hot off the heels of its new interactive launch with ESPN BET replacing Barstool Sportsbook, the operator is seeking to reinvigorate its regional portfolio of properties. 

Firstly, Hollywood Casino Aurora will be moving from its previous riverboat location into a permanent new land-based casino located adjacent to the Chicago Premium outlets, which attract over eight million annual visitors. 

The construction, set to be complete by the end of 2025, will cost $360m and will result in a casino with 1,200 gaming positions, 220 guest rooms, and a sportsbook alongside 12,000 square feet of event space. 

Developing the property will create 700 construction jobs and then a further 700 permanent jobs at the property, doubling the current headcount of the riverboat location. 

“We are thrilled to soon begin construction on a new, state-of-the-art Hollywood Casino Aurora,” said Jay Snowden, CEO and President of PENN Entertainment. 

“Our tremendous and long-lasting partnership with the City of Aurora has provided an opportunity to relocate our property to an ideal location that will significantly improve our offerings and further our positive economic impact on the community.”

Meanwhile, PENN is improving the infrastructure at Hollywood Casino Columbus by starting construction on a new hotel at the property. 

Hollywood Casino Columbus first opened in 2012 and this marks the first major upgrades at the casino. The hotel will cost around $100m and will boast 180 rooms, meeting space and a new restaurant. 

The hotel build is set to create “hundreds” of construction jobs and another 100 hotel jobs once completed. 

Snowden added: “We are thrilled to soon begin construction on a new, state-of-the-art hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus. Since opening in 2012, our Columbus property has experienced tremendous growth, and the addition of a hotel at Hollywood Casino Columbus will create a true regional destination.”

Meanwhile, PENN has another two “growth projects” outstanding as it continues to invest in its regional unit of casinos. It is currently working on a new land-based casino in Joilet, Illinois and a new hotel tower at its property in Henderson, Nevada.