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Quite a transformation.

That’s the reaction of people who walk into the refurbished Batavia Downs on Park Road.

Batavia Downs officials and local politicians were in attendance for a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday officially revealing the first phase of its $27 million renovation project.

Representatives who spoke at the ceremony said they have history with Batavia Downs which is why they’re elated to see it transformed.

“We’ve had a lot of great comments from our customers, but I think if you first walk in and you’re not expecting this, you might be a little surprised that here in the small city of Batavia there’s something that looks and feels and acts like you might be in a city in Nevada,” Michael Kane, president and chief executive officer of Western Regional Off-Track Betting, said.

Officials also see the renovation as a positive economic driver.

“We’re actually doing a little better than we anticipated this early which is great news,” Kane said. “It seems to be fairy obvious that our folks like this change. Operationally we’re growing into it. As the business grows if it continues to grow like we hope it will, that’s another economic opportunity for the area.”

“It’s an economic multiplier where people not only spend some time and money at the racino but they also spend time in the community buying goods and services, perhaps staying overnight and all of that is good for tourism,” Assemblyman Steve Hawley said.

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says Batavia Downs used to be in rough condition.

“Years ago I remember it was in a state of disrepair,” State Senator Ranzenhofer said. “The roof was falling in and its survival was in question. Here we are today with a lot of hard work, a lot of foresight, a lot of money and a lot of innovation to make sure that our gaming stays active and alive here in Batavia and Genesee County.”

The renovating at Batavia Downs is far from over. Kane says they’re going out to bid for the next portion of the project next week. That phase will officially begin, Kane says, after Thanksgiving.

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