LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A new entertainment site from Churchill Downs, Inc. is set to open in downtown Louisville, but some people are uncertain about the company’s intentions.
Some people in Newburg, where CDI’s gaming center Derby City Gaming is located, are hesitant about the center’s benefit to the community.
Initially, Derby City Gaming hoped to be a focal point for economic development. As for the people who live near the gaming establishment, like Ryan Stockdale, who has lived there since it was built, the center is not much more than neighborly.
“Primarily around here, you’re going to get auto-shops and things like that,” aid Stockdale. “There haven’t been any local restaurants popping up or any local shops.”
Stockdale said that the Poplar Level Road business did not make an impact on the surrounding area in the way it was expected to.
“(Derby City Gaming is) pretty much an island among themselves,” he said. “Whatever happens there is just that and haven’t made much of an impact around the area.”
The question now is whether it will be the same for the new 4th and Market location.
The slots at Derby City Gaming are no strangers to Andrea Thompson, who said they are the perfect way for her to unwind and forget about the day’s problems. Thompson said she is hopeful the downtown location will be a big success.
“This is a great place to come to after work,” said Thompson. “Any day — weekends, day off, whenever.”
Leaders of CDI said the new entertainment venue is set to become a tourist destination while helping west Louisville businesses, many of which are minority owned.
Chrystal Gilbert plays at Derby City Gaming but lives in the downtown area, where she hopes the new casino-like location could offer benefits to minorities and businesses without losing sight of what really matters to the community.
“We need more community activities,” Gilbert said. “They need to focus on that.”
Although CDI pledged $1 million to the West End Opportunity Partnership, there are no details on how the money will be spent.
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