PENN Entertainment to Pursue Four Major Growth Projects: Aurora and Joliet Relocations, and New Hotels in Columbus and Henderson
Penn Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) announced today that it is pursuing four new growth projects, including the land-based relocations of its Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet (Illinois) and the construction of new hotels at Hollywood Casino Columbus (Ohio) and the M Resort (Nevada). These projects will cost an estimated $850 million and the company has entered into an agreement with Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) to fund up to $575 million of the costs. The Aurora development project is set to include a modern casino and hotel with 900 slots and 50 live table games, a Barstool Sportsbook, a spa, bars and restaurants, meeting areas and an event center. The estimated budget for this project is $360 million and up to $50 million of the project will be funded by the city through a new bond issuance, subject to final approval by the Aurora City Council. The Joliet project is set to include a modern casino with 800 slots and 45 live table games, a Barstool Sportsbook, bars and restaurants, meeting areas and an event center. This project has an estimated budget of $185 million and is expected to be located in the Rock Run Crossings development mixed use project near the I-80 and I-55 interchange. The Hollywood Columbus project will include a 180-room hotel with new food and beverage offerings and is expected to cost approximately $100 million.
Additionally, the M Resort in Henderson, Nevada will add a second tower which will include approximately 384 rooms, expanded meeting space, updated amenities, and additional local partnerships. This project is estimated to cost $206 million. The projects are expected to generate strong free cash flow returns and create long-term value for shareholders. Construction for the Aurora and Joliet projects is expected to begin in late 2023 and the Columbus and M Resort projects are expected to begin in late 2023, all subject to regulatory approval. Jay Snowden, Chief Executive Officer and President of PENN Entertainment, commented: “We are delighted to announce these exciting new growth projects, which we expect will generate strong free cash flow returns and create long-term value for our shareholders. Our casino properties remain at the core of our omni-channel approach to entertainment, which combines best-in-class retail operations and a database of more than 26 million myChoice members with a rapidly growing interactive and media footprint.” With the ability to access attractive financing from GLPI, up to $50 million from the City of Aurora, and their own cash position, PENN is poised to pursue these high growth projects while preserving their leverage profile. These projects are sure to bring immense value to PENN Entertainment and the local communities.