The Mint at Kentucky Downs 

Originally a historic racing facility, Kentucky Downs was ready to refresh, re-brand, and expand its gaming operations following a change of ownership. The finished venue was redesigned to feature a new 30,000 sf. expansion, together with a full renovation of the existing gaming area, and adding all-new food and beverage venues with extra support space. 

These comprehensive upgrades have further expanded the gaming experience for guests, and also positioned the property as a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination in the region. The expansion and renovation were completed in less than one year, ahead of schedule.



Location: Franklin, Kentucky 
Duration: 10 Months
Project Size: 65,000 sf
Services: Comprehensive Design-Build Renovation

Project Approach

Comprehensive Transformation, Exceptional Timeframe

Kentucky Downs’ goal was to re-design their historic building and renowned racing facility to feature a more upscale, modern design aesthetic. With complete floor-to-ceiling upgrades throughout the facility, I-5 was able to make this goal a reality. Additional newly designed focal points, including the large central oval bar, new signature steakhouse, and beautiful “Corner Café” restaurant, all come together to create an exceptional entertainment experience for guests.


The new Irons Steakhouse is the premier, signature steakhouse dining environment for the region, and has thus gone on to become a customer draw in and of itself. An unforgettable “bourbon barrel” entrance into the venue provides a dramatic entry experience and an excellent “Instagram” opportunity for guests. Beautiful wood finishes, architectural metals, and rich leather furnishings combine to create a classic steakhouse feel for the entrance and interior of the venue. Meanwhile, the new “Oasis Sidebar” provides a fun and vibrant full-service bar for the gaming floor. Blending rustic finishes with a vibrant island flare that features multi-flavored iced margaritas, this bar has become an exciting staple within the property.


Built on Budget, Ahead of Schedule

Kentucky Downs’ comprehensive transformation from a historic racing facility to a modern gaming environment occurred in less than a year. By assuming the full burden of cost and schedule control, I-5 was able to improve the schedule as the project went on. The construction timeframe was further accelerated through a combination of onsite phasing, and efficient building of many elements offsite.


Even during such a significant expansion, the ongoing collaboration between I-5’s internal team and casino management kept all phases of construction smooth and efficient, with no surprises to casino operations. Regular, honest, and transparent communication about the project schedule put the casino and management team in a position to open even earlier than originally scheduled, with minimum strain on their newly expanded team and operations.

A Transformed Visual Identity

The transformed visual identity of Kentucky Downs has been so successful that the client has gone on to partner with I-5 to design and build two additional casino locations in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and another in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Management at The Mint has been extremely pleased so far with the results of the comprehensive Kentucky Downs expansion and remodel. 

Transform your location