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Mixed Feelings Surround Oaklawn Expansion

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs is hoping to double the amount of bets being placed by expanding.
I know people are looking for a quick buck an easy dollar. It doesn't appeal to me.
HOT SPRINGS, AR -- Oaklawn Park's Board of Directors voted Tuesday on whether to increase their gaming area 50 percent.

They are getting resistance, specifically from a private resident who has appealed the expansion saying there's not enough parking already.

When you walk out of the exit doors at Oaklawn, you run straight into the doors of Rocky's Corner.

"We like to say we have the best spot here in Hot Springs because they actually cross the street once they come from the track; 90 percent go directly in here. It's good for us," said manager Teddy Boykin.

Boykin said any kind of plans for the casino to expand will always be good news.

"We depend on tourist on locals so anytime we hear news of that it's good for us without the locals without the tourists we wouldn't be open," he said.

Keith Wood has lived across from the casino for three decades.

"We hear the horses," Wood said. "We can physically hear the horse run and hear people cheering. I know people are looking for a quick buck an easy dollar.  It doesn't appeal to me."

He has a problem with the unsavory characters during the peek season.

The appeal to the expansion sites problems with traffic, but the director of Hot Springs' Planning and Development, Kathy Sellman, said shuttle buses help manage the traffic and parking issue.

The second point in the appeal stating the area is not zoned for the expansion she says is just not valid.

"It's not up to me to tell people what to do or not do it's legal," Wood said. "So, I just live with it."


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