Some say it put Grove City on the map, and now after more than 90 years, Beulah Park is closing.
City leaders say they are sad to see the race track go, but eager for new development.
Grove City Mayor Ike Stage remembers visiting Beulah Park back in its heyday and calls it a prized possession of the community. “As a child I remember showing up to Beulah Park to where it caused major traffic jams.”
He says those days are long gone and soon the racetrack will be too.
Penn National Gaming is transferring its thoroughbred permit to a new track near Youngstown. It will not be in direct competition with Columbus' casino, which the company also owns.
“We are going to miss it, but those kind of things are also opportunities,” says Mayor Stage.
Continental Real Estate Companies is in contract to purchase the land from Penn National Gaming. They say the plan is to demolish what's there and redevelop.
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“We are a mixed use developer. We tackle the more unique and challenging projects and this would fit the bill in both respects,” says Jonathan Kass, President of Continental Real Estate Cos.
Kass says Continental doesn't have definitive development plans and is only right now beginning its market analysis.
But city leaders have some ideas.
“I see some industrial (buildings) … and possibly multi-family (housing),” says Stage.
Mayor Stage says the city may be losing a historic landmark, but the history will remain in the same place where the future will be created.
The last race at Beulah Park is set for Saturday May 3.
Officials tell 10TV the roughly 50 racetrack employees are being offered jobs at the Youngstown track and the Columbus casino.
Grove City will receive up to $3 million for the redevelopment of the site. The money will be administered by the Ohio Department of Development, part of the relocation fee paid by Penn National Gaming to the state.