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OTB wins approval of property sale for track hotel

BATAVIA – With the state Gaming Commission approval for the sale of property for a new hotel at Batavia Downs Gaming in one hand, directors of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. are reaching out with the other to the Town of Batavia to close off a portion of Park Road.

Speaking at Thursday’s board meeting, WROTB President Michael D. Kane said he was informed three weeks ago that the gaming commission approved the sale of a 35,000-square-foot parcel to ADK Hospitality for construction of a $5.5 million, 84-room hotel that will be connected to the gaming facility.

“Now it is moving through the bank’s (First Niagara) internal process and we expect to close in two weeks,” he said.

Earlier this year, ADK Hospitality, a partnership of Buffalo businessmen, purchased the property for $605,000.

Last month, the Genesee County Economic Development Corp. voted to grant more than $600,000 in tax incentives to the developers.

Kane said the board is turning its attention to closing Park Road north of Lewiston Road and south of Richmond Avenue, and will be working with the Batavia Town Board to make it happen, possibly by May 2016.

“A traffic study indicates no negative effects and our initial discussions with the town have been positive,” he said. “It will make it safer for our customers and the community, and also allows the town to go through with the rest of its development of Park Road.”

Kane said he estimates the cost of the project at $1 million and hopes that it will be financed through the gaming commission’s capital awards program.

The closing of a portion of Park Road would include the relocation of the Town of Batavia Fire Department, which is located on Lewiston Road.

“We would donate a section north of the existing parking lot to relocate the fire department,” he said.

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory H. Post, when contacted after the meeting, said that he believes the town board is “committed to the exploration of the project, but an enormous amount of work has to be done.”

“There is a metric that needs to be followed – data collection, traffic studies, impact on the fire department, sheriff’s department, neighboring businesses and the community,” he said.

Kane said his organization will release a detailed plan by the end of August in anticipation of a proposal being sent to the gaming commission by the end of the year.

In other action, the board:

• Entered into a one-year contract with Applied Business Systems of Batavia to produce marketing mailers at a cost not to exceed $67,422.

• Reported the sale of the former OTB parlor at 1518 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls, to a private buyer for $10,500. It previously was put up for auction but no one bid on it.

• Learned that advertising revenue for the gaming facility and harness track was up $20,000 from the same time last year.

• Announced that the marketing department won four Romero Awards for excellence in casino marketing at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference in Las Vegas earlier this month.