Century Downs casino opens, horse racing set to begin this month
Complex located north of Calgary near CrossIron Mills
A new casino north of the city opened for business on Wednesday as part of a complex that will see horse racing return to the Calgary area for the first time since 2008.
The Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near CrossIron Mills features 550 slot machines and a five-and-a-half furlong oval for standardbred, thoroughbred and quarter horse racing with two chutes.
Shirley McClellan, CEO of Horse Racing Alberta, says people all over southern Alberta tell her they're excited about the new facility.
"I come to a lot of events in Calgary and I never come to an event that I'm not asked, 'When is that track going to open,'" she said.
Horse driver Phil Geisbrecht says this is a fresh start for the local racing industry.
"This facility looks world-class. It's just going to be really nice to have a fresh start and bring more people to the races," he said.
The first horse race will be on April 25. Thoroughbred racing starts next year.