Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort

Last updated
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
Mountaineer logo 200x200.png
Waterford Park from the highway.jpg
Roadside view of the casino
Location New Cumberland, West Virginia
Owned by Vici Properties
Operated by Century Casinos
Date openedMay 19, 1951
Race type Thoroughbred
Notable races West Virginia Derby
Official website
Waterford Park
USA West Virginia location map.svg
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Usa edcp location map.svg
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LocationWV 2,
Coordinates 40°34′49″N80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167 Coordinates: 40°34′49″N80°39′42″W / 40.58028°N 80.66167°W / 40.58028; -80.66167
Area77 acres (31 ha)
ArchitectBoyle, A.J.
Architectural styleModerne
NRHP reference No. 02001528 [1]
Added to NRHPDecember 12, 2002

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is a thoroughbred racetrack and casino resort located on the Ohio River north of New Cumberland, West Virginia. It is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Century Casinos. It is notable for being the first race track in the United States to get slot machines and become a racino.


History and information

Originally to be known as Waterford Downs, the track's parent company was incorporated in 1937. [2] The effort was led by Al Boyle, president of the Charles Town Races, who named it after his family's ancestral home of Waterford, Ireland. [3] The company's initial public offering was approved in February 1939, with the track expected to open the following September. [4] By August 1940, construction had not begun, but 250 acres of land had been bought or optioned. [5] In 1942, Boyle planned to begin construction of the track, but expected the grandstand to be delayed at least until 1943 by a steel shortage due to World War II. [6]

Construction was finally underway by July 1948, with opening scheduled for September 1949. [7] The name was changed to Waterford Park in 1950. [8] Opening day was finally held on May 19, 1951. [9] [10]

In the mid-1950s, Boyle sold the track to James F. Edwards. [11] The Ogden Corporation acquired Edwards's holdings, including Waterford Park, in 1969. [12]

The clubhouse at the Mountaineer Park racetrack after an evening of racing. Mountaineer Park clubhouse.jpg
The clubhouse at the Mountaineer Park racetrack after an evening of racing.

The track was purchased by Bill Blair and renamed as Mountaineer Park in 1987. [13] In 1992, Blair sold the track to California-based Excalibur Holding Co. for $4 million cash plus $2.7 million in stock. [14] The track was authorized to have slot machines and installed them in 1994. Excalibur was renamed Winners Entertainment, then renamed MTR Gaming Group. [15]

Mountaineer added casino table games on December 20, 2007, with 50 tables, including blackjack, three card poker, and roulette.

In 2019, Eldorado Resorts (which had merged with MTR Gaming in 2014) sold Mountaineer, along with two other properties, to Century Casinos and Vici Properties. [16] Century bought Mountaineer's operating business for $30 million, [17] while Vici bought the land and buildings for $97 million and leased them to Century. [18]

Physical attributes

The backstretches at the Mountaineer Park racetrack, with the turf course inside the outer main (dirt) track. Mountaineer Park backstretches.jpg
The backstretches at the Mountaineer Park racetrack, with the turf course inside the outer main (dirt) track.

The track has a main dirt track with a one-mile oval. The turf course is seven furlongs long and inside the dirt. The track is curved slightly in the front stretch. The track also has a large casino and resort on site.

The casino has 3,200 slot machines.


The start and stretch run on a sloppy main (dirt) track at the Mountaineer Park racetrack. Mountaineer Park horses.jpg
The start and stretch run on a sloppy main (dirt) track at the Mountaineer Park racetrack.

Mountaineer was one of the busiest Thoroughbred courses in the country with as many as 217 racing dates scheduled in year 2012. The Mountaineer live racing season had consisted of 4 to 5 nights per week, starting as early as March and ending as late as December. This had been reduced to 130 racing dates, running May through November by 2019 [19] The track had been able to offer purses much higher than those in neighboring states and attracted larger field and the products of such a higher parimutuel handle and better attendance. Over the past decade, competition from surrounding states increased, and purses have reduced. Mountaineer hosts the West Virginia Derby, a Grade III race that had significantly grown in stature and purse in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s to a Grade II race, but has also had its purse reduced and reverted to a Grade III race in recent years. The first Saturday in August traditionally has been the day the Derby takes place, and is the only day of the calendar that the track offers afternoon racing. Otherwise, the races are run at 7pm. Mountaineer had previously been considered as a possible host for the 2009 Breeders' Cup, but it was awarded to Santa Anita. [20]

The track runs many stakes and overnight handicaps. Here, in order, are the stakes that ran at Mountaineer in 2005:

Graded events

The following Graded events were held at Mountaineer Racetrack in 2019.

Grade III

Stakes events

See also

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  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. "New race track given state O.K.". Washington Post. October 10, 1937. ProQuest   150879574.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  3. Bill Bennings (December 4, 1938). "At the Post". Washington Post.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  4. "New West Va. track sanctioned by SEC". Washington Post. February 17, 1939.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  5. "$500,000 race track work is set to begin this month". Youngstown Vindicator. August 4, 1940.
  6. "Tract bought for race plant". Youngstown Vindicator. January 2, 1942.
  7. Walter Haight (July 26, 1948). "Night flat racing not new in Md". Washington Post.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  8. "Potpourri". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 28, 1950.
  9. "Bill Bennings". Washington Post. May 18, 1951.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  10. "Tamale first at new track". New York Times. May 20, 1951.  via ProQuest (subscription required)
  11. Tony Pierro (June 2, 1997). "Mountaineer Race Track a runaway success". State Journal. Charleston, WV.  via Factiva (subscription required)
  12. "Owner Of Waterford selling out". Beaver County Times. January 17, 1969.
  13. Stephen Babich (June 30, 1987). "New name, new bets at track". Pittsburgh Press.
  14. "Sale of Mountaineer Park will stand". Williamson Daily News. AP. December 1, 1992.
  15. MTR Gaming Group Company Profile
  16. Bailey Schulz (December 6, 2019). "Eldorado Resorts closes 3 property sales for $385M". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  17. "Equity Purchase Agreement". Century Casinos. June 17, 2019. Schedule I via EDGAR.
  18. "Real Estate Purchase Agreement". Vici Properties. June 17, 2019. p. 5 via EDGAR.
  20. '09 Breeders' Cup to be held at Santa Anita