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NORTH RANDALL -- Rock Ohio Caesars LLC says its ThistleDown Racinowill celebrate its grand opening on April 9, pending regulatory approval.

Owned and developed by ROC, a joint venture between Rock Gaming LLC and Caesars Entertainment Corporation, will show the transformation of thenearly 90-year-old Thoroughbred racetrack-turned-racino and will include two performances by singerTaylor Hicks.

After an $88 million investment and months of renovations, visitors will seethe installation of Video Lottery Terminals, as well as new dining and nightlife options.

The North Randall facility will continue to offer live racing from April through November at its one-mile oval racetrack, as well as simulcast racing year-round.

"We're excited about so many things as the grand 're-opening' for ThistleDown approaches," said racino General Manager Rick Skinner. "We've created 700 new jobs in this community to support these additions to our business.

It originally opened in 1925 as one of Ohio's first racetracks. The newThistleDown Racino will feature a 57,000-square-foot gaming space with 1,150 VLTs in many of the latest themes and some old favorites as well.

Dining and nightlife will also play a big part in the fun at ThistleDown Racino with six new outlets:

  • The Diner, offering a fresh take on familiar diner favorites
  • The American Burger Bar, featuring big, juicy burgers, hand cut fries and traditional milkshakes
  • The Mane Street Deli, with overstuffed sandwiches and more than 25 toppings and sauces to choose from; Steaks and Rings, serving up cheese steaks piled high with fresh cut onion rings
  • The main racino bar, Center Bar, features 17 big screens and personal table top audio so guests never miss a call
  • Slush, located on the east end of the gaming floor, is the centerpiece of ThistleDown nightlife.Slush features more than 20 flavors of frozen libations, a stage for live entertainment and daily Mexican food specials and a unique outdoor patio that will open later this spring. Adjacent to the Winners Circle, the patio at Slush will also offer VLT gaming, a bar, and will permit smoking -- the first of its kind in Ohio.

With the addition of VLTs, ThistleDown will be open 24/7 and will offer complimentary parking and shuttle service between the racino and its adjacent 2,400 space parking lot.

Directions to ThistleDown Racino

Doors will open at 5 p.m. April 9

Other opening-week festivities include a daily $10,000 giveaway, a live DJ-hosted dance party extending across the entire racino floor, and live entertainment at Slush.

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