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Calgary, Alberta Canada
Alberta Downs is proposing to build a new racetrack facility in the Calgary area, and the following letter is a proposal made to the Alberta Racing Corporation:
Alberta Racing Corporation
602, 5920 !a Street S.W.
Attention: Mr. Tom Gorman
Re: New Calgary Racetrack
In response to your advertisement of November 6, 2000 we wish to express interest in constructing and operating a new racetrack facility in Calgary.
1. Alberta Downs Previous Application
We call your attention to the fact that Alberta Downs made an application in February of 1998 and paid the application fee at that time. Accordingly, we make this application that any such fee be waived this time around. The submission was in three volumes. We suggest that you may wish to review that submission, as many of the assumptions made at that time are the same or similar today.
2. The Industry
Unfortunately Horse Racing in Alberta has suffered a severe blow due to the uncertainties created by the failure of ResortPort and the failure of Stampede Park to commit to racing. This has resulted in the loss of horses and a drop in live wagering. Fortunately, simulcasting, Alberta and foreign have picked up some but not all the slack. Our initial analysis finds that financing of the proposed facility would only be possible with the 1/3 share of the net revenue from the 500/650 slot machines which the ALGC made available for the Calgary Racing Industry.
3. Land Cost
While wagering on horse racing has been in decline, the cost of land suitable and within close proximity of population centers has doubled and even tripled from similar land available 3 years ago. Therefore now it is impractical to build a track close to the city center. We feel the farther out you go, the less chance the track will succeed.
Alberta Downs is prepared to build a complex (racetrack and gaming center) to suit. The size of the Alberta Market with a design that can be extended if it is warranted. The design is attractive and will be a first class establishment that the racing industry can be proud of. Our gaming rooms will be spacious with varied locations throughout the building. (The patrons will be no more than 60 from either the racing area or the slot machines.) Our simulcasting area will be incorporated into the main grandstand seating area allowing the fan to see the live races and wager on other tracks at the same time on all the large screen above the glass.
5. Parking and Entrance
Both parking and entrance to grounds will be free and the parking area will be extensive.
The tracks ( one mile thoroughbred and 7/8 track harness) will have an all weather surface allowing horses of both breeds to train and race on it all year round. The track will be open for training 17 hours a day except for race times.
The barns (1,200 stalls) are designed with fire walls between each shed row of 56 horses and connecting to a large indoor arena for training, breaking and walking horses. Each shed row will have air exchangers and grooms quarters.
8. Race Days
Subject to times that other tracks in Alberta are granted a race license, the number of race days we could offer the horsemen is 60 days for thoroughbred and 92 for harness.
9. Alberta Downs Proposed Site
Alberta Downs has a sales agreement (subject to our license being issued by February 1, 2001) to purchase land for a gaming center and racetrack. It will be located on a 100 acre parcel within the city limits between 68 Street and 84 Street on 17 Avenue S.E. A traffic light already exists at the proposed entrance to the park. It is just 15 minutes from downtown Calgary using 17 Avenue. It is two miles south of an intersection (with lights) on number One Highway (16 Avenue) and it is four miles north of an intersection (with lights) at Glenmore Trail.
This site is adjacent to a large population on the east side of the city (aerial attached).
10. Other Possible Proponents
It is our understanding that there might be two other applications for Calgary:
(a.) Stampede Park.
This facility has been here for years and through these years, the fan base was declining steadily leading to the Parks eventual declaration that they were leaving racing.
The advantage of Stampede Park is that it is already built.
The disadvantages are:
1. Not enough parking
2. Continuous congestion with other events.
3. Sight line to back stretch is obstructed
4. Grandstand is too large not designed for racing.
5. Backstretch area congested
6. Bad atmosphere and attitude
7. No chutes
8. Small track
9. Only one track
10. Closure of grounds at peak summer periods for Stampede
(b.) Out of town track
Its advantage is it has lots of room, not much traffic congestion. The
disadvantage is in the distance from the city. There are a number of options for slot machines etc. right in the city, and most people would not drive this far for an afternoon or evening of racing entertainment. There is no public transportation, which limits access even further. There are a number of
examples of other track facilities in North America outside of cities that
have encountered just this problem.
Our proposal is based on the condition that once we are granted the license and our track is operational, no other track will be granted a license in the Calgary area without our agreement . If we are selected to supply the new track we will be asking the out of town group to join us in the venture.
We have extensive experience in the horse racing industry and are committed to a mandate to supply the character, atmosphere, quality and comfort to the track that horsemen and fans deserve.
Our shareholders are all Albertans and to date we have equity and cash commitments from the following:
Canfer Rolling Mills (Building)
AS4 Steel (Building)
Allens Trout Farm (Building & Land)
Carswell Engineering (Engineering)
INVESCO Mortgaging (Financial)
Allways Construction (Ground work)
Al Bertram Construction (Track construction)
Cougar Technicals (Electric, plumbing, heating etc.)
There are also a number of prospective shareholders who are interested in investing in this track once the race license is secure.
12. Construction Schedule
The timetable for our opening the track gaming center would be six months from the building permit approval, with the racetrack to follow within the next 3 months, subject to permits. Our track will be ready before the two year contract with Stampede Park has run out. We therefore would like to apply for a summer harness meet during the Stampede break and late fall thoroughbred meet after Northlands.
The clock is ticking on horse racing in Alberta and new facilities are desperately
required. We recommend that your selection of a group should be made by February 1, 2001, this would give the successful bidder the time to obtain the permits required during the winter months and construction could proceed in the warmer months. Time is of the essence.
For more information call