05/24/2011 10:42AM

Yavapai Downs: Meet looks like it's on


Yavapai Downs will apparently be able to conduct its annual summer season beginning Saturday after a tentative agreement was reached to keep the northern Arizona track from shutting down, according to a report in the Prescott Daily Courier.

The track faced a bleak outlook, as mounting debt left the track in a financially precarious position in order to run its 11th meet, set to run 56 days from May 28 through Sept. 6. According to the Daily Courier, the parties involved were not willing to divulge the details of the deal that would keep the track afloat and that the deal also would not solve all the track’s financial ills, but that if the track could get up and running and generate revenue it could start paying its bills.

The track reportedly owes numerous out-of-state racetracks money for simulcast wagering in the past, and most recently got hit with huge increased property tax bill. It had formerly paid $30,000 to the county as a nonprofit entity, but its status was changed to commercial, meaning the new property tax bill soared to $349,000. In total, track management reportedly needed an infusion of approximately $500,000 to operate.

The Yavapai County Farm and Agriculture Association board of directors voted last week to shut the facility, which was inaugurated in 2001 to replace the dilapidated Prescott Downs. It then halted that action over the weekend to give management a chance to find a remedy. The county fair board still has to approve the plan formally.

The track did take entries Monday for its Saturday opening-day card.