There’s only 1 thing that can keep Colonial Downs from closing

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NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- Colonial Downs, Virginia's only horse race track and off track wagering location, announced Saturday that it was shutting down unless one thing happens.

In a news release,  the president of Colonial Downs stated that unless the Virginia Racing Commission approves a contract with a new horsemen's group, the track will close on Nov. 1.

That contract would allow three days of high-end racing and 17 more days of summer racing for Virginia horsemen.

"Colonial Downs is now on life support," Colonial Downs President Ian Stewart wrote. "We need the approval of the Virginia Racing Commission to enter into an agreement with horsemen who share our vision."

Fans said the track is a great place but they admit the sport they love isn't as popular as it once was.

"I think a lot of things that were very big in the 50s and 60s -- up until 10 years ago,” Joe Totman said. “I think people are looking at other activities."

Last season there were no races at Colonial Downs. According to the New Kent Board of Supervisors, that had about a $400,000 impact  on the community and it even hit school funding.

A meeting will be held on Oct. 15 to determine whether a contract compromise will be made. If a deal is not reached, the 17-year-old track will close.

13 comments

      • John

        Ron got addicted to the high feeling of community activism when he got the first utility trailer law passed (to put a visible sticker on the back of the trailer so people can see it). It was a good law. The excitement of making rules to the public lite a fire in Ron. But, “his family needs him” (LOL).

  • carrol

    bye bye,let the rich fund it or let it go.Pretty sure there is some tax money tied up in that place somehow though

  • getdnet

    You people should get off of your sofa , and from behind your computer and go to the track. It is a fantastic facility with one of the best if not the best turf course in the nation. Ron you do not seem to know your facts of neither the Squirrels situation or at Colonial Downs.
    It is probably best not to comment if you don’t have a clue what you are commenting on.

  • Karl Hott

    The Diamond & Colonial Downs issues have nothing in common. The Squirrels have record attendance. Colonial Downs has declining numbers. Nice track, but the ammenities are average.

  • John

    I have been to Colonial Downs when it first opened. I thought it was a well groomed place. I don’t gamble and/or care for watching people lose their hard earned money. Therefore I don’t attend the track. I believe the same about the lottery, it usually hooks in people that can LEAST afford to spend the money on tickets.
    I support Free Enterprise, and I support the track getting the ability to run whatever schedule they want.

    • Mart Rodney

      Bingo John, FREE ENTERPRISE not politics and unions
      If Jacobs wants to spend the money for horse racing in Virginia why not?
      You can support it or not support it
      Maybe the State of Virginia will put in a Bingo hall in it’s place
      Rodney

  • BeenthereDonethat

    Went to the track, they don’t have Slot machines or any type of other gambling I could get by making a drive to Maryland. With as little as fuel cost now in the Commonwealth your competition is the Maryland tracks and Maryland casino places. In order for Colonial Downs to compete it must have horse racing and slot machines otherwise no bus trips from people in NC or residents of Virginia want to come. They can go to WVa or Maryland spend the day and not be in traffic on 64 with the beach traffic,Busch Gardens traffic and Virginia Beach traffic.

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