Yesterday, two local racing related projects took two steps forward. Or backward. Depending on which side of these issues you stand upon.
Columbus Hollywood Casino developer Penn National Gaming confirmed that they would closing the historic Beulah Park thoroughbred racetrack in Grove City in an effort to spread out their gaming offerings to other areas of the state, including Dayton and Youngstown. On the flip side, the Columbus Development Commission approved the plan for the development of a auto racetrack entertainment complex at the old Cooper Stadium site.
The Cooper Racetrack Complex has been a hot topic of debate ever since the idea was first announced nearly three years ago. Proponents see it as a shot in the arm for development and jobs on the Near West Side, while opponents are fearful that the noise generated from racing will be audible for miles, affect neighborhoods including Franklinton, Downtown, The Brewery District and German Village.
(Rendering from www.cooperparkcomplex.com)
The closure of Beulah Park is a more recent development, and thus far has been a bit less controversial. The 87-year-old horse racing track was purchased by Penn National Gaming last Spring, prior to the relocation of Penn’s Columbus Hollywood Casino to the former Delphi site on the Far West Side. The Hollywood Casino itself has been a very widely debated topic over the past several years.
(Rendering from www.hollywoodcasinocolumbus.com)
How do you feel overall about the possible addition of an Auto Race Track and the closure of Beulah Park? Is this a net gain for Central Ohio, or a step in the wrong direction?