Running Aces halts $9 million hotel development

Community Editor

Running Aces Casino and Racetrack announced last week that it has stopped plans to construct a $9 million Grandstay Hotel and Suites next to its casino and racetrack site. In an Aug. 16 press release citing the business’s concerns, Running Aces indicated that the reason for stopping work on the project is the potential location of an asphalt plant around two miles south of the Running Aces property, in the “Triangle” property between interstate highways 35E and 35W.

Running Aces once projected that the hotel would add about 24 jobs. In the release, it estimates that the hotel would bring “more than 50 jobs to Columbus and the surrounding communities.”

Running Aces, along with several Columbus residents, have been raising concerns for the last few weeks about the Bituminous Roadways-owned plant, which has been in the works in Columbus for about a year. Despite assurances from business management that the plant would be properly permitted and responsive to neighbors’ concerns, those protesting the plant believe it will smell, create pollution, create dust and congestion with trucks driving back and forth, and drive potential commercial developers away from the city’s valuable Freeway District. Running Aces has also expressed concern that pollution from the plant could harm horses that are kept on its property, and in the press release, it mentioned truck traffic concerns in particular as a factor it believed would hurt the hotel’s chances of success. The business also said work on the hotel would not continue until management had time to more fully study the potential impacts of the plant.
The Columbus City Council has been getting feedback from property owners inside and outside Columbus for the last few weeks and has not made a final decision on how to respond to local concerns.

“We love Columbus and support the citizens in their overwhelming desire to stop the asphalt project,” Running Aces CEO Taro Ito said in a press release. “The mayor and city council must recognize a very simple fact[:] The current site for the asphalt plant is not in the best interest of the community, will cost area residents jobs, limit further economic development and will put into immediate jeopardy the long-term city comprehensive plan that has been painstakingly developed, adopted and communicated to business leaders and city residents alike.”

Learn more about resident concerns regarding the plant in the July 25 story “Columbus neighbors question asphalt plant plan.” The Times will report more on the hotel work stoppage and the asphalt plant as the situation develops.