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Prairie Meadows, Altoona

(3.2/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
Prairie Meadows is a Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetrack casino located in Altoona, Iowa, United States.History and informationIn 1984, Prairie Meadows received a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming commission to operate a horse racing facility after parimutuel betting was legalized by the state the previous year. In 1987, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Prairie Meadows.Prairie Meadows conducted its first day of racing on March 1, 1989. However, the track lost money during its first few years of operation and filed for bankruptcy in November 1991. Live racing was suspended for the 1992 season before revenues from off-track betting allowed racing to resume the following year.On May 17, 1994, Polk County voters approved a referendum allowing the installation of slot machines at Prairie Meadows. On April 1, 1995, the slot machine casino opened at Prairie Meadows, and by the end of 1996, Prairie Meadows was able to pay off the bonds that were issued by the Polk County Board of Supervisors.On December 14, 2004, Prairie Meadows added casino game tables after receiving state approval to do so. As a result of the high demand for these tables, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Prairie Meadows' plans to expand its facility on January 25, 2005. Construction on the $60 million expansion began in September 2005. An addition to the casino opened in August 2006, while two new restaurants and a 1,200-seat concert hall known as "The Meadows" opened in February 2007.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My wife and I stopped by to check out the facilities while we were visiting the area. Casino was clean and had all the options of different games and multiple choices of cuisine. The entire area was v...  more »
  • Slots are tight, drinks are expensive. It's clean. Wonderfully located for shopping and Adventureland. Fun place but don't expect to bring home the jackpot. We go here enough to know that it's not the...  more »
  • If you have any problems with smoking, this is not the place for you. MarcyDiner tantrum scale of 2/5-loud environment, but no screaming kids. The machines make a lot of noise. 
Google
  • Fun place, with lots of dining options. You can eat at the wonderful buffet, which has a great variety of foods and is especially good on holidays. There is the top floor buffet, which is good but not as good as the downstairs one. There is also AJ's who is on the very pricey side, but they have wonderful rolls and breadsticks. AJ's menu is small, but the food that is on it is delicious. Oh, and there's a plethora of gambling machines, and table games such as blackjack. Make sure to keep track of the money in your pocketbook and leave with more than you came in with!!
  • Have always loved Prairie Meadows. It is a great go to place for myself and my family. Very fun and energetic environment. Definitely appreciate their welcoming attitudes, especially when most of us go their to escape "life." ;)
  • If you enjoy gambling, I'm sure you could spend many hours here. As for me, it's not something I enjoy, yet I was still able to kill some time. The live horse racing is sort of a plus for someone like me. Even if you don't enjoy betting, you can enjoy watching horses barrel down a track at 40 MPH.
  • Really only used the convention facilities but they were very good and reasonably priced.
  • We spent a lot of time and mo lney on Halloween costumes to enter their contest, spent 30 minutes driving there, and were told we couldn't bring in our obviously fake "weapons". No courtesy, and such policies should be made known before people waste their time. Heading to any of the many other places in town who will appreciate our patronage.