Grand Prairie's home for horse racing is reinventing itself, hoping to become the hotspot for sports fans and bar goers in the Metroplex.
Global Gaming Solutions acquired Lone Star Park from bankruptcy court last May and, with the city of Grand Prairie's Sports Corporation, spent a total of $3 million renovating its simulcast racebook.
"This is first class, and that's what people want, that's what they expect, and I think it will attract the kind of people that we want to bring here," said Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England.
The 36,000 square-foot Bar & Book is divided into three parts: a smoking area on one side, a nonsmoking area on the other, and a trendy sports bar in the middle.
The bar blasts music, which Lone Star Park's Vice President and Assistant General Manager G.W. Hail said was unheard of at the traditional simulcast racebook. Part of the bar turns into a clublike setting on the weekends, with a dance floor as well as a stage.
"It is a big investment, but I think it shows the commitment from our ownership group, the Global Gaming Solutions Group out of Oklahoma, to invest in the facility," he said.
The investment also includes high-tech devices. One table at the sports bar has a touchscreen TV embedded into the table, where customers can order off the menu, get a drink, go to Lonestar park, or surf the web.
Mike Mayo, a customer since 1997, said he hoped the changes would bring about a new generation of horse racing fans.
"I've seen new faces. I think the building is much more player-friendly and fan friendly, the way they've got it laid out than it was in the past," Mayo said.
Mayor England said he hopes the new faces will keep coming back.
"It's so much more now than just the gambling facility. I mean, it's one of the finest sports bars, I think, in the whole Metroplex," he said.
Lone Star Park will see some more changes in 2012, including an infield Jumbotron and improvements to its backside barn areas. Customers will also be able to get shuttled to and from the Cowboys Stadium when games are in season.