11/11/2008 1:00AM

Colonial shuts offtrack site


Colonial Downs in Virginia closed one of its nine in-state offtrack betting locations on Sunday and is no longer seeking buyers for the track, the president of the track said on Tuesday.

The offtrack betting location that was closed was one of two that Colonial operated in Chesapeake. Ian Stewart, president of the track, said on Tuesday that Colonial made the decision to shutter the location as part of a "general consolidation."

"The lease was going to expire at that location in a year and a half, and we decided to make the decision to close it sooner rather than later," Stewart said.

On Wednesday, Colonial ended its 2008 harness meet. Handle during the 34-day meet averaged $156,497 a day, and attendance averaged 509 people a day.

The owner of Colonial Downs, Jacobs Entertainment, began marketing the track to buyers in January, citing an inability to offer casino-style gambling, but the track drew no firm offers. As a result, the track and its eight remaining offtrack betting locations are no longer for sale, Stewart said.

Colonial also holds a summer Thoroughbred meet. Most of the trainers who race at Colonial in the summer are based in Maryland, where racetracks are dark in the summer.