Warren Co. seeing positive impact from new racino

MONROE, OH (FOX19) - It's been exactly three weeks since the new $175 million Miami Valley Gaming racino in Warren County opened its doors.

So, what are the early returns?

"All indications are that it's going over just famously," said Warren County Commissioner Pat South.

Tourism is the biggest industry in her county, and she's hoping sustained success of the racino and the surrounding area will keep driving the county's economy and tourism.

"This just falls right into place with our tourism industry. We expect it to have a dramatic impact on our tourism numbers," South told FOX19.

There is a small handful of places near the racino for overnight stays, including the Best Western Monroe Inn.  They've been feeling the impact of the racino even though the facility is still in its infancy.

"Since the casino's opened, I've seen a lot of new faces coming through," said Carly Riddell, an employee at the hotel.

Riddell said before the racino opened, their business was "just okay" on the weekend.  But in just three weeks time, the demand for rooms is through the roof.

"We had a decent weekend status, but that was for the mall or Trader's World down here.  But, I would say, ever since that opened it actually jumped our numbers up quite a bit," added Riddell.

Because of all the people expected to visit, county officials project spikes in revenues from tourism, sales tax and lodging taxes.

"The possibilities are just unlimited.  We've already had some inquiries for hotels at that particular exit.  I think that it's a wonderful anchor, and addition, to the Premium Outlet Mall for the rest of that I-75 corridor," South said.

South says 2013 was a successful year for Warren County.  They brought in 7% more than expected in sales tax revenues.  She expects the racino to help continue that trend.

Miami Valley Gaming says they expect to pump $24 million a year into local communities and provide 500 jobs.

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