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HAZEL PARK, MI-Owners of the 55-year-old Hazel Park Harness Raceway are betting they can stay competitive with Detroit’s casinos through the addition of a 400-room themed hotel. Hartman & Tyner Inc. has announced plans to build a “themed” hotel attached to the new Mardi-Gras addition presently under construction at the track.

Groundbreaking is anticipated to begin immediately after pending legislation authorizing video lottery products at pari-mutuel facilities is enacted into law.

The Mardi Gras-themed hotel is scheduled to open prior to the 2006 Super Bowl XL in Detroit. The upscale property will boast spacious guestrooms offering high-speed Internet access; several thousand square feet of flexible meeting space with high-tech capabilities; a 24-hour complimentary business center; a fitness center; an indoor swimming pool, spa and whirlpool; a full-service restaurant; and a guest laundry facility, company officials say.

Approximately half of the 400 guest rooms will also have a view of the racetrack and in-room wagering will be available on Hazel Park and all simulcast races.

Hazel Park Harness Raceway is currently in the midst of a $30-million overhaul and demolition of its historic grandstand was recently completed.

Construction on the new $20-million plus state of the art grandstand has begun, and, upon completion, the new facility will house three sports-themed cocktail lounges, a comfortable dining area, two simulcast centers with big screen televisions, and technology that will allow patrons to view past performance lines of each horse.

“We’ve changed from a typically middle-aged, blue-collar crowd to a much younger audience–many coming to the track for their first time,” says Daniel Adkins, chief operating officer of Hartman & Tyner Inc.

Hazel Park city manager Edward Klobucher adds: “We are extremely excited about Hazel Park Raceway’s multi-million dollar renovation. This commitment by Hazel Park Harness Raceway into its facility and the community comes at critical time for the financial viability of the city itself. It will mean more jobs for our area and keep Hazel Park Harness Raceway an integral part of our city’s economic stability and growth. Hazel Park Harness Raceway has been a good corporate citizen for more than 50 years and has worked closely with the city to provide educational scholarship money and other assistance to its residents.”

The raceway was purchased in 1972 by Hartman & Tyner Inc. of Southfield, MI. The Hazel Park Harness Raceway is the second-largest US harness track behind Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ.

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