Fiscal Court votes to begin negotiations for equine facility in Boyd County

The equine facility could be put in the former Sears building at Camp Landing
The equine facility could be put in the former Sears building at Camp Landing(WSAZ/Emily Bennett)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 2:58 PM EDT
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BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - A company is hoping to bring a first-of-its-kind equine facility to Boyd County, Kentucky.

Revolutionary Racing Kentucky tells WSAZ it will be applying for a horse racing license with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and, if approved, plans to start construction.

In a letter sent to the Boyd County Fiscal Court, nearly $50 million could be invested in a horse racing track and gaming facility near Camp Landing.

Thursday, the Boyd County Fiscal Court held a special meeting to vote on an ordinance to start negotiations with the company.

“The vote today isn’t to sign a lease agreement. This vote today isn’t a vote to sell the property,” said Judge Executive Eric Chaney. “This is a vote to allow the negotiations to take place with Revolutionary Racing on the faculty to see what we have.”

Revolution Racing Kentucky is applying for its ninth horse racing track license across the state as they plan to lease the former Sears Building at Camp Landing to put in historical horse racing terminals, which are similar to slot machines.

The facility plans to offer live quarter horse racing, broadcast horse racing and wagering, food, and entertainment. The letter states the company plans to create 200 jobs.

In the fiscal court meeting, the community raised concerns with how close the gambling would be to Malibu Jacks.

“There’s probably 30 different options we could go down, and I think leasing the Sears building is the worst one,” said Jason Camp, who owns Camp Landing.

Camp is in support of the horse park, but he is concerned about the safety of children coming to Malibu Jacks and suggests putting the facility behind Camp Landing.

“I’m all for it if they put the casino, the horse park, right behind us,” he said. “We’d be the best neighbors in the world, and we can have bridges going over to us. We could have all sorts of things together. I do not want to lose the horse park, hear me please, I don’t want to lose it. I want it here, but the casino doesn’t necessarily have to be right in the middle of our property.”

Others in the community are also worried about what gambling could bring.

“With organized gambling comes corruption, crime, suicide, bankruptcy, destroyed lives and destroyed families,” said Lana White, who lives in Ashland.

Judge Chaney stressed to everyone at the meeting that the vote does not mean this process is finalized, it just opens the door for negotiations, saying it all could be turned down.

“It’s going somewhere in the state of Kentucky. It’s going somewhere in 119 other counties. It’s got the option to go there, so I want to fight for it here in Boyd County,” he said.

He says if they would have voted no, it would have stopped even the possibility for the facility to come to the county.

Chaney also said the public will get a say before anything is finalized.

Revolutionary Racing Kentucky released the following statement Wednesday:

“Revolutionary Racing Kentucky will be applying for a horse racing license with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and, if approved, plans to build a first-of-its-kind equine facility in Boyd County. Out of respect for the KHRC and its process, we are unable to comment further at this time. But we are hopeful that with their approval, we will be able to say much more in the months ahead.”

Further information about the proposed development has not been released.

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