Prairie Meadows Horse Racing Track in Iowa
If you’re looking for the best in horse racing and gambling in the state of Iowa, look no further than Prairie Meadows. This great racetrack regularly hosts a number of thoroughbred and quarter horse races. It is also home to a casino which is very popular off-season. Prairie Meadows is situated in Altoona, Iowa. It was established in 1989 and is now running quite successfully despite some major setbacks early on in the track’s history.
Prairie Meadows received a license to operate from the Iowa State Racing Commission as early as 1984 and just a few years later the track was operational. Though it seemed as if the track was off to an impressive start it was, in fact, struggling financially. As a result of bad management in it’s first few years, the track was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1991. In 1992 live racing was suspended for the season, but by 1993 revenues from off-track betting helped the track to become operational again and racing was resumed. From then forward Prairie Meadows went from strength to strength. In 1995 a slot machine casino was opened at Prairie Meadows with the result that the track was able to pay off all its bonds by the end of the following year. The track was then able to further expand these facilities by adding gaming tables in 2004. These facilities are currently being expanded.
The track at Prairie Meadows is approximately one mile in length and has a dirt surface. It also has a chute for quarter horses. The casino has 1,500 slot machines and 33 casino game tables which mainly offer poker, roulette and blackjack. By the time the expansion project is completed an additional 500 slot machines and 32 game tables will have been added to the existing facility. What’s more, much of the revenue generated by the track is donated to community projects in the Des Moines area. The track also serves as a venue for free concerts which draw thousands of visitors every year. Racing season starts in April and ends in July but the track's gambling facilities are open year round.