SARATOGA HARNESS RACING COMPLETES ACQUISITION, BEGINS OPERATING FITZGERALDS CASINO IN BLACK HAWK, COLORADO
1/29/2013 2:11:15 PM
BLACK HAWK, Colorado, and SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (January 29, 2013) – Saratoga Harness Racing, Inc. (SHRI), owner of Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, NY, announced today it has completed its acquisition of Fitzgeralds Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colorado.
SHRI today began operating Fitzgeralds Casino Black Hawk, one of the premier historic casino properties in the Black Hawk market, after closing on the purchase from The Majestic Star Casino, LLC (“Majestic Star”) and receiving licensing approval earlier in the month from the Colorado Division of Gaming. The $28 million purchase agreement was announced May 15, 2012.
Having undergone a significant renovation and expansion in 2008, Fitzgeralds Casino Black Hawk features about 600 slot machines, 11 table games, a 318-space all-valet parking garage, an upscale steakhouse, a casual dining restaurant, three casino bars and banquet and event facilities.
The closing comes just five months after SHRI took part ownership in Ellis Park Race Course, an historic thoroughbred racetrack in Henderson, KY. SHRI now manages Ellis Park after installing 187 Instant Racing Machines and building a casual dining restaurant at the track modeled after Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s “Lucky Joe’s” concept.
“This is yet another important milestone for our company and we are very proud to add such a highly regarded property as the Fitzgeralds Casino Black Hawk to our growing portfolio of gaming operations,” said Dan Gerrity, President of SHRI. “I would like to thank Majestic Star and the Fitzgeralds management team and staff for their commitment to making the transition smooth and effective. I would also like to thank the Colorado Division of Gaming for their swift review and approval of our gaming license.”
Since opening in 1995, Fitzgeralds Black Hawk has become one of the premier historic casino properties in the Black Hawk market, and has been part of the Majestic Star gaming portfolio since 2001 “We are thankful for the dedication of our team members and loyalty that our guests have shown us over the years. I would like to wish Dan Gerrity and the SHRI team continued success with this great casino asset after the transfer of ownership.” Commented Peter Liguori, Majestic Star’s President and CEO.
SHRI plans to rebrand Fitzgeralds as Saratoga Casino Black Hawk while also providing significant property enhancements, including the installation of an escalator to improve accessibility to the casino’s third floor. Also being planned are upgrades to the property’s food and beverage options and an updated casino floor.
The casino’s management team will be headed by Andrew Gentile, who has more than 20 years of experience in the gaming industry. For the last 10 years, he served as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for Delaware Park Racetrack and Casino, leading the growth of the property to a full service casino with over 2,500 slot machines, 45 table games, 45 poker tables, professional football parlay betting, live and simulcast racing and an 18 hole golf course.
“Today represents the beginning of an exciting period as we begin work to bring the Saratoga Casino experience to Black Hawk,” Gentile said. “I am looking forward to working with this talented and dedicated team and to becoming part of the Black Hawk community. Our guests can be assured that their points and promotional offerings will continue to be in force moving forward and that our focus will be on providing the highest quality entertainment and dining options with the best possible customer service.”
Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. acted as transaction advisor to Majestic Star. Global Gaming Hospitality acted as transaction advisor to SHRI.
SHRI owns and operates Saratoga Casino and Raceway, in Saratoga Springs, NY, featuring over 1,700 slots; electronic table games; Vapor Night Club; two full-service restaurants with buffets; a casual dining restaurant; three full-service bars; a deli; live harness racing; and simulcast wagering. SHRI is also a partner with Delaware North Companies in the operation of Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths in Saratoga Springs, NY. Additional information about Saratoga Casino and Raceway can be found at the property’s website, www.saratogacasino.com.
Majestic Star is a multi-jurisdictional gaming company that directly owns and operates: two adjacent dockside gaming facilities (Majestic Star and Majestic Star II) and a hotel located in Gary, Indiana; a Fitzgeralds brand casino and hotel located in Tunica, Mississippi (Fitzgeralds Casino Hotel – Tunica); and formerly, a Fitzgeralds brand casino located in Black Hawk, Colorado (Fitzgeralds Casino – Black Hawk). Additional information about Majestic Star and its casino properties can be found at the company’s website, www.majesticstar.com.
Media Contact Information:
Senior Vice President Marketing
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
The Majestic Star Casino, LLC