01/26/2005 1:00AM

Prairie to expand gaming


As part of a $60 million expansion plan, Prairie Meadows will increase its number of slot machines by one-third and nearly double the number of table games it operates. The plan was approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Tuesday.

Construction on the 14,000-square-foot expansion will begin early this summer, according to a track spokesperson. The addition will house a two restaurants as well as an open area that will be able to hold 800 people for banquets and up to 1,200 people for concerts. In addition, the jockeys' room will be doubled in size.

The commission approved the addition of 500 slot machines and 32 table games at the track, which currently has 1,500 slot machines.

Prairie Meadows received approval for table games from the commission last year and began operating them Dec. 15. The track currently has 33 tables.