01/20/2009 1:00AM

$35M offer made to buy Fort Erie


The Fort Erie, Ontario, Economic Development and Tourism Corporation has made a $35 million offer to purchase Fort Erie Race Track in Ontario from the track's owner, the Nordic Gaming Corporation, and its parent corporation, the Israeli-based El-Ad Group.

Preliminary discussions on the sale between the two parties have already taken place.

The development and tourism company's proposal is an attempt to ensure a 2009 racing season for the 112-year-old track. Nordic Gaming has announced that losses resulting from a serious decline in casino profits at Fort Erie have imperiled a 2009 season, and layoffs have already been announced.

The purchase would require a low-interest loan and $3.2 million advance from Ontario's provincial government for a down payment. A Jan. 26 deadline has been set by Nordic Gaming for provincial approval.