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Horse racing venue back on track
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 5:51PM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 6:36PM MST
Plans for a horse racing track in Balzac have been resurrected on a smaller scale by a group of local businessmen.
The United Horsemen of Alberta has reached a $13 million agreement with Century Casinos Inc. for a race track and racing entertainment centre beside CrossIron Mills.
“In southern Alberta the history is the horse, so not having a racing facility has just been a real missing spot in the economy, and just in general people love horses,” said Darcy Marler United Horsemen of Alberta President.
Right now, there are a handful of barns on the property but in a couple of years there will be a track, grandstands, slot machines and off track betting facilities.
The revised plans also include a restaurant, bar and facilities for group events.
A much larger project was scheduled to open in 2007, but financing problems and the recession stalled those plans.
Approval of the UHAs plans is still needed from Rocky View County and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.
“We're hoping four to six months for those approvals so we're hoping around June of 2013 to be able to go in the ground and we’ll be 12 to 15 months after that for construction cycles, so optimistically the summer of 2014 is when we'll be racing horses,” said Reeve Rolly Ashdown. “Well they still have to go through a development permit and they have to do a master site development plan, has to go before council. There's a few steps left.”
Reeve Ashdown says he does not have any concerns about the traffic from the facility because the area has been designed well and can easily handle additional vehicles.
For more information, visit the United Horsemen of Alberta’s Website.