The Weitz Company is currently in the middle of a two-phase renovation of the fourth floor concourse at Prairie Meadows, a well-known venue in the Greater Des Moines community characterized for its horse racing, casino and convention center. When complete, Weitz will have finished its 10th new construction, renovation, expansion and upgrade project for Prairie Meadows since first building the original horse racing area from 1987-89.
“More or less, Weitz has touched all areas of the Prairie Meadows campus,” said The Weitz Company Project Manager Kassi Colman. “In the past 30 years, we have built the horse racing area, the event center addition and the hotel addition while also renovating the entire casino floor and the main entry level.
“It’s an awesome thing to look at the facility of a repeat client knowing we have been made a critical contribution to their growth.”
It has been nearly two decades since the fourth floor of Prairie Meadows has been given a facelift. The goal is to make it a modern space complete with new tiered seating and enhancements to the concourse area where patrons watch the horse races, place bets at mutuel betting stations and dine at the deli or buffet.
Phase I of the renovations, which included updates to the Prairie Rose Room and building a new bar, started in March. With only six weeks to turn around the first half of the project to accommodate the first horse races of the season on April 26, the Weitz project team followed its Lean disciplines to deliver the project on time and on budget.
“We were able to deliver the project on time even with the addition of various infrastructure upgrades. The team came together and worked extra hours to make it a success,” said Ken Redd, project superintendent of The Weitz Company.
Once horse racing ends in October, Weitz will be back on-site full-time for Phase II to update the simulcast area and betting stations. In this space, it’s horse racing all day every day with televisions and more. The next phase will be similar to the first in terms of updated paint, carpet, tile and trim but will also include new column lighting and one of a kind fixtures.
Phase II is expected to be complete in December. In total, the two phases will cover 40,000 square feet of Prairie Meadows.
“The Weitz Company has been a valuable partner of Prairie Meadows. As we have grown and developed throughout the past 30 years, The Weitz Company has consistently delivered quality work on time and within our budget,” said Dustin VandeWeerd, facilities director at Prairie Meadows.
Prairie Meadows kicked off its inaugural season of live horse racing on March 1, 1989. In 1995, Prairie Meadows added casino operations to its site. Nearly 10 years later, it expanded to include table games before welcoming The Meadows Events and Conference Center, AJ’s Steakhouse and the Triple Crown Buffet in early 2007. Prairie Meadows’ most recent development, its 168-room hotel, opened in March 2012.