Northlands Casino’s iconic location saw its last hours of operation as it officially shut down operation this Friday putting an end to an era of successful gambling offerings on site. With this move, the location closes a chapter that started in 1996 and the reason for this is the relocation of horse racing to the future Century Mile Entertainment Center, considered a more beneficial area.
The first day of February saw the official end of operation on site of the horse racing track in Edmonton, Alberta that is known for its rich history. Ever since the mid-90s, the gambling venue has enjoyed the attention of millions of individuals interested in what it has on offer and the entertainment potential it could provide. People anticipated this Friday with the bittersweet sense of melancholy, as generations have grown up with the idea that Northlands Park would always be part of the landscape.
Casino Venue Closes ahead of Relocation
Locals consider this day to be the end of an emblematic period for the community, as everyone has been involved in its operation one way or another. Scott Sinclair is Gaming and Racing Director at Northlands and he pointed out that even though this might be a tough time for Edmonton, it was an anticipated event and people have been preparing for it. It could be recalled that October 2018 saw the last event held at the iconic racetrack.
It launched operation at the turn of the 20th century and it was holding races throughout the rich history of the past more than 100 years. Marking 118 years of operation, Northlands Park’s racetrack bid farewell to regular live horse races and it was only a matter of time before the gaming location closed for business permanently. Northlands president Gordon Wilson said that he has been closely following development on site and the way the market shaped Northlands Casino throughout the more than two decades.
Exactly three years ago, management of the race track made it known that the location will close for good in the foreseeable future, as this is what the Vision 2020 project for redevelopment mandates. In alignment with this plan, the area where Northlands Park and Casino is occupying as of now would have to be repurposed as outdoor festival grounds.
Century Mile Racetrack & Casino Launches in April
Even though the idea was estimated as a positive one in the long run, management of the race track had to take matters in their own hands and come up with an appropriate solution. Horse Racing Alberta made it clear that casino operators could file in their bids for operation in the area, as a new race track and casino venue would have to be introduced to the city.
Among all parties interested in participating in the bid, Century Casinos managed to win the license for operation in the region. The operator oversees management of Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Calgary. This is how construction of Century Mile Racetrack and Casino commenced in the vicinity of Edmonton International Airport.
The location is projected to be finished and welcome its first guests in April 2019. There was a slight delay, as the original opening date had been previously set to July 2018, in order to provide the Canadian Derby with a brand new race course. Changes have taken place since then, preparing the ground for this spring’s grand opening.