07/14/2011 12:40PM

Yavapai Downs owner files for bankruptcy


The owner of Yavapai Downs in Prescott, Ariz., has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, according to court filings, six weeks after the track canceled its summer meet.

The Yavapai County Farm and Agriculture Association, which owns the racetrack and operates a fair at the property, listed at least $10 million in liabilities in its bankruptcy filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona. The association is being represented in the filing by Randy Nussbaum, the filing said.

In late May, Yavapai scrapped plans for a 56-day meet just days before the track was set to open, citing ongoing financial losses. Earlier in the year, county officials had changed the association’s tax status from a nonprofit to a for-profit, a move that effectively increased the association’s tax bill more than tenfold, from $30,000 to $350,000.

In a statement accompanying the bankruptcy filing, the association’s board said that it has “entered into detailed discussions with many interested parties, and, in the weeks to come, we will begin discussions with many of the nation’s top business people” to take over the company’s assets.

At the time that plans to cancel the meet were announced, the association’s newly installed general manager, Mike Mullaney, said that the track needed to renegotiate many of its contracts. Mullaney said that the association was hopeful of conducting a 2012 meet.