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Boyd Gaming announces $45 million expansion at Louisiana race track

Boyd Gaming Corp. said Tuesday it will spend $45 million to add a hotel tower and other amenities to its western Louisiana race track casino.

The company said in a statement it hopes to complete the project in 2016 that will add 167 hotel rooms to the Delta Downs Racetrack Casino in Vinton.

In addition to the hotel tower, Boyd Gaming plans to redesign the existing 200 hotel rooms and its food and beverage facilities and also expand the Delta Downs special events center.

Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski said Boyd Gaming is responding to the increased focus on Lake Charles, La., where the Golden Nugget last year opened a new hotel-casino that has grown the market along with Pinnacle Entertainment’s L’Auberge property.

Vinton is 120 miles east of Houston and just west of Lake Charles.

“We have held the belief that Delta Downs stood to benefit most by the addition of new casino resort supply in nearby Lake Charles, as more patrons making the trek from the primary Houston feeder market meant more cars passing Delta Downs,” Wieczynski said.

He called Boyd’s plan a “prudent decision” to wait until evaluating Golden Nugget’s impact on Delta Downs.

Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said the expanded hotel would help Delta Downs become “better positioned in the market.

Design work is being completed, with construction to begin in September.

Smith called Delta Downs one of the company’s “strongest performing properties.” Boyd operates 22 casinos in eight states, including three resorts in downtown Las Vegas and the Coast casino brands in the locals Las Vegas market.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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