Parx Casino plans a hotel in Bensalem

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Editor’s note: The article and title have been updated to indicate that the plan has been revised and to clarify that it is not a fully approved plan. It must go through the land-use planning process as reflected in the original story.

Parx Casino appears in its much-delayed and long-promised multi-storey hotel at its Street Road property in Bensalem.

The Township Planning Commission reviewed plans for approval at a meeting last month for a 15-storey hotel near the grandstand at Parx East Racecourse. The hotel would sit on approximately 6 acres and its footprint will comprise 71,681 square feet, according to development plans filed with Bensalem from the Keystone Turf Club and the Bensalem Racing Association.

Parx Casino is listed as a candidate.

The plan calls for a two-story hotel ballroom, an event lawn, multiple guest loading/unloading areas, and a connection to the existing casino. The project also includes Americans with Disabilities Act compliant parking and signage and additional parking.

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The hotel would be the next expansion of the site, which has been modernized over the years.

Parx was the second of Pennsylvania’s casinos, opening as Philadelphia Park on December 19, 2006, a month after the Mohegan Sun opened in Pocono Downs.

Parx has been criticized for changing direction on initial development plans for his 413-acre property. Initial plans called for a conference center, clubhouse spa, parking lot, hotel and golf course. As early as 2010, Parx officials said they planned to build a hotel on site.

But, one was never built. Although there is no hotel, Parx has spent some $50 million expanding and upgrading the property since 2017.

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In recent years, Parx has added the Xcite Center, bringing music, comedy, and more to Bucks County. The entertainment venue is attached to the casino. The 30,000 square foot entertainment venue has been able to attract big names including Nelly later this month since it opened. Around the same time, Parx also opened restaurants inside its casino.

Parx Casino in Bensalem, reopened to customers on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Gaming and casinos are big business in Pennsylvania, and Parx has been one of the top revenue generators since it opened.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported last month that the combined total revenue generated by all forms of gaming in June 2022 was over $389 million. Parx generated over $52 million that month and topped all Pennsylvania casinos in slot revenue, grossing over $31 million. The tabletop games grossed around $16.5 million in June, according to the board.

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The impact of a new hotel on operations was unknown. Officials and casino representatives do not talk about the plan.

When reached, representing attorney Michael Meginniss of Begley Carlin and Mandio, confirmed the existence of the plan but declined to comment further. Officials at leading engineering firm Langdon Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. did not respond to requests for comment.

Parx Casino officials also declined to comment on this early planning stage.

The project, if it materializes, may still take several years. The project will need to address several zoning considerations and may need to overcome resistance from residents.

At the township level, no date has yet been set for a further review of the plan, but it will be announced publicly when determined.

The plan includes a list of adjacent properties, entities and residences, including the Bensalem Baptist Northwest Church and the Victory Square Owner’s Association. The Church of Our Lady of Fatima is also listed on the plans as a neighboring property.

No resident or agency spoke out for or against the project at the July 20 township planning meeting.

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