Dec. 15, 2004 Christmas Second Day Races will be held at the Randall "Doc" James Racetrack on St. Croix Dec. 26. The full Senate Wednesday unanimously approved a lease and franchise agreement between TRAXCO, a subsidiary of Treasure Bay V.I. Corp., and the V. I. government.
The agreements were the subject of an all-day hearing by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday on St. Croix. (See "Senators Told Christmas Races Can Be Held"). At that hearing, Dennis Brow, TRAXCO's general manager, said TRAXCO would make sure the Christmas Second Day races were held, if the Senate approved the agreements.
The Wednesday vote was taken in a special session of the Legislature, called by acting governor Vargrave Richards, for the specific purpose of approving the agreements.
The lease between TRAXCO and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department covers a 10-year period. At the beginning the rent is $4,000 a month but by the 10th year it is $7,000 per month. TRAXCO also agrees to do certain renovations to the racetrack located across the street from the Henry Rohlsen Airport.
Barbara Shattles, vice president of TRAXCO, Inc., stated in a press release, "There are so many people to thank in this process, but today I'd like to especially thank the governor and the Senate for acting so quickly."
The release added that TRAXCO plans to "officially assume operations on Jan. 1, 2005, but has committed to fund 2nd Day Christmas Races on Dec. 26, 2004. The Horsemen's Association and TRAXCO, Inc. are currently working to finalize a 2005 race schedule that will allow for new construction and improvements and, most importantly, will allow for the horsemen to race."
The franchise agreement between TRAXCO and the St. Croix Racing Commission calls for TRAXCO to pay the Commission a $5,000 franchise fee the first year and after that pay a percentage of its gross pari-mutual handle, but at no time should payment fall below $5,000 per year.
Brow said "I am particularly proud of the unanimous vote by the Senators and look forward to proving that their confidence in us was not misplaced."
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