For decades, the city of Franklin has made a lot of money and brought a lot of tourism into Kentucky Downs and Mint Gaming Hall, a horse racing and gaming venue about 25 miles south of Bowling Green on the Tennessee line.
Upgrades and renovations have been made to the attractive racing facility that’s visible from Interstate 65, and we believe Franklin made a wise decision decades ago to open the racing and gaming facility there.
Driving by there day or night, it’s easy to see the popularity of this place.
We say if Franklin can have this top-notch facility, then why can’t we do the same thing right here in our great city?
Kentucky Downs owners Marc Falcone and Ron Winchell are trying to do just that, and we commend them for doing so. It’s been a rough path for them, but it appears their goal of bringing it here is becoming close to a reality.
The two proposed building a satellite location of their Mint Gaming Hall on a 16-acre tract on Ken Bale Boulevard here, but it was rejected by the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County in May by a 7-3 vote.
We’re not going to judge the commission’s vote or say they got it wrong. We would just say that they voted their conscious, and that’s it.
We understand there are some in our community and in our surrounding coverage area who don’t support gambling. Their views and opinions should be respected, not shunned.
While it seemed like gaming wouldn’t come to our city after that May vote, new developments have risen from Falcone and Winchell. It now appears that gaming is all but certain to become a reality here, which we believe will be good for our city.
Through a new Las Vegas-headquartered corporation called ECL BG LLC, Falcone and Winchell filed in July a building permit with the city of Bowling Green that calls for a $6.2 million renovation of 48,832 square feet at the former HH Gregg store in Greenwood Market Place shopping center at 2475 Scottsville Road.
Although smaller in scale, the gambling facility in the works in Greenwood Market Place should be similar in many respects to the Mint Gaming Hall.
We believe this is very exciting, and the good part is the owners don’t have to go through any commissions for a vote to get approved. The city of Franklin has had millions upon millions of dollars go into its coffers over the past decades from Kentucky Downs and Mint Gaming Hall. We are happy for them, as they have earned all of this revenue and notoriety from having this booming business there.
This is why we are looking forward to Falcone and Winchell bringing it to Bowling Green.