Plans for 8th Horse-racing track announcedWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans to build a Youngstown-area horse-racing track and resort have been announced by two Ohio developers who were part of a failed 2008 ballot effort that would have brought a Las Vegas-style casino to southwest Ohio.
Rick Lertzman and Brad Pressman head up a development group that they say will build the $300 million, 100-acre Mahoning Valley Downs & Resort, which would be Ohio’s eight horse track. Lertzman said the venture has local and national investors and plans to break ground by fall.
The men hope to include a casino with lottery-run video slot machines. Allowing the machines at tracks was planned as a budget-balancing measure by former Gov. Ted Strickland, but implementation has been sidelined by a legal challenge.
In a media release prior to the press conference that is scheduled for Jan. 18, Rick Lertzman, chairman of the Mahoning Valley Development Group, said “This is an exciting project that will be an incredible magnet for the Mahoning Valley to attract new jobs, new industry, and will have a ripple effect throughout the Valley. Importantly, we believe that we will create over 1000 jobs in the construction of the property and 1500-2000 permanent jobs in its operation.”
Pressman is quoted as referencing rumors concerning Toledo’s Raceway Park in the release,”We have heard rumors that Penn Gaming was considering relocating Toledo’s Raceway Park or Beulah Park in Columbus. We believe that it would be quite unfortunate to take away all of those jobs from Toledo or Columbus. Our group has designed a plan to expand Ohio’s racing industry, add new jobs and create the eighth racetrack in Ohio. We have carefully checked with the Ohio Racing Commission over the past 2 years that we are following all their regulations. We fully believe that we fall into the parameters and look forward to applying for the eighth license in creating Mahoning Valley Downs and Resort.”
Associated Press contributed to this report