Nov 19, 2004 – TRAXCO Inc. will apparently be able to rent the Randall Nicholas "Doc" James Racetrack for less than some of the higher-end houses go for in the Virgin Islands. If the lease agreement signed by the governor gets quick legislature approval, residents could see Christmas races at the track.
The agreement, signed by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on Thursday, allows the V.I. Horse Racing Commission to award the rights to promote and conduct horse racing and related activities to TRAXCO for a period of 10 years.
Turnbull stated that TRAXCO, a subsidiary of Treasure Bay V.I. Corp., the company that manages Divi Carina Bay Casino, will pay $3,000 a month to lease the racetrack for 18 months. Afterwards the leasing fee will go to $4,000 a month.
TRAXCO will also be paying a $5,000 annual fee the first year and then an annual fee based on the previous year's 12-month pari-mutual handle. The Legislature still needs to ratify the agreements.
Turnbull, in a Government House press release, urged the members of the Legislature to "act expeditiously and ratify both of these agreements."
The lease agreement will be with the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation.
TRAXCO previously signed agreements with The Horsemen Association Racing Protective Syndicate, Inc. and V.I. Racing Commission (See "Racetrack Moves Closer to New Management").
Earlier this year the V.I. Casino Control Commission gave approval to Divi to invest some of its tax alternative funds in improvements at the racetrack.
(See "Divi Gets OK to Invest in Racetrack, Hospitality School").
Dennis Brow, who will serve as racetrack general manager when the process is completed, said, "We can't wait to do this for the people of St. Croix. It is a beautiful project."
He said that the "diligent effort" of Gregory Francis, St. Croix administer, was making the project happen in a timely fashion.
At one time Brow hoped for races at the track on Thanksgiving, but he said Friday he is now hoping for Christmas races.
Barbara Shattles, a TRAXCO board director and Divi Casino general manager, was off island and could not be reached Friday.
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