BATAVIA, N.Y. — "The full gaming experience will be here right in Batavia," said Batavia Downs chief operating officer Mike Nolan.
Batavia Downs will be opening phase one of its $27 million expansion project on Friday. We have been tracking the progress of from demolition, to construction, to the opening.
The gaming experience used to be upstairs and the games were very close together, the room very dark. That's all changed.
"There is something for everybody and we went for that true Vegas feel with the lights and the glamor and the waterfalls and, you know, we think that when people go to games, they want to be and feel like they are at a special place and certainly that's the feeling that we tried to give and that they will have here," said Nolan.
With this new gaming facility come new restaurants.
"Home Stretch Grill, which is a quick service concession area. We've got Fortuna's which is our high-end Italian/Mediterranean restaurant. We have also got the crown jewel in the middle of the floor, 34 Rush, Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas' brand new sports bar. You can be there to watch all your favorite games," said director of marketing at Batavia Downs, Ryan Hasenauer.
You wont just be sitting in a bar named after Thurman Thomas; you will be sitting in an area that he and his wife helped design.
"A big part of the process was himself and his wife. They have picked out the bar stools they picked out color patterns we have had a lot of interaction with them as they helped plan what's going on. You've got the big poster above the bar," said Hasenauer.
Batavia Downs has a lot planned for the opening.
"We will have those free hats and free key chains. We will have drawings in the evenings from 5 to 8. We are giving away wrestling tickets for the show that's going to be in Rochester this weekend, and of course as we normally do we will be giving away Buffalo football tickets to our suite," said Hasenauer.
Nolan says the rest of the expansion project is expected to be completed within a year, but as for Friday, he said, "It's going to be an exciting time in Batavia."