We have been hearing from people who are both happy and unhappy that the County has, at least for the time being, stopped subsidizing Idaho’s horse racing industry.
The County tried to work with Capitol Racing by allowing them to make their lease payments to the County on a month-to-month basis. Recently my colleagues and I also agreed to renegotiate the County’s contract with Capitol; however, the company never took us up on the offer, apparently realizing they could not make money in the horse racing business in this market even with a reduction in rent.
Capitol Racing was a good tenant. All lease payments due to the County for the time in which Capitol had control of the facility have been paid in full.
Nothing of value has been given to Capitol Racing for which the County has not been compensated. Ada County assets will not be taken by Capitol, despite rumors to the contrary. Equipment purchased by Capitol still belongs to Capitol and could be purchased by a new operator.
I would encourage anyone with an interest in the whole Les Bois Park issue to do their own due diligence. I would be happy to assist by providing a list of records from various agencies to be reviewed that will support everything I have previously written on this subject.
Like many people in Idaho, I believe strongly in personal responsibility. With that thought in mind, the horse owners might want to consider these suggestions:
• Research the track’s finances, by examining the Idaho Racing Commission’s 2008 Annual Report, if you haven’t already. The financial summary on page 15 shows that Les Bois Park reported a net operating loss of $1,279,849 last year.
• Put together a management group to submit a proposal for horse owners to operate the track. We are very open to entertaining such a proposal.
• Go to the Idaho Legislature to try to get the law changed so that fewer live racing days are mandated, in an effort to reduce the costs for a potential operator.
• Seek sponsors to offset the losses the track has been taking.
• Seek financial backers and make an offer to the County to purchase Les Bois Park outright.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments. Your input is appreciated.