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Letter to the Editor: Horse Racing's Vital Link to Local Business

The Minnesota Racing Commission released its 2011 Annual Report and the numbers are frightening.

When I read the recent column about Jeni Mackenthun and her experience working with Canterbury’s jockeys at , I couldn’t help but think about the impact has on our local businesses in the community. 

During the racing season – from May through September – more than 600 people move into the community to work with the horses. Furthermore, hundreds of other people visit from other communities and states to watch their racehorses. These people come to our town and invest heavily in the local community. They stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, shop at our stores and do much more within our city. That’s a significant amount of economic activity that would cease to exist if Canterbury Park was not here. When the track was closed from late 1992 through early 1994 the impact on our community was significant. Many businesses suffered as a result. 

Recently, the Minnesota Racing Commission released its 2011 Annual Report and the numbers are frightening. In 2011, breeding numbers were at an all-time low in the state of Minnesota. Our business is leaving Minnesota to go to states that have passed and have increased the money available for racing purses. 

Without a Racino, our horses, our jobs and our business will continue to leave for other states where Racinos have been approved. Racino legislation is imperative to ensure that the horses continue to run and that our community continues to benefit from the significant economic impact this industry generates. 

As a 17-year employee of Canterbury Park and as a member of the racing industry for more than 20 years, I have seen other communities benefit greatly from passing similar legislation. The impact that will be felt within our community will be substantial. Jeni Mackenthun’s massage business, our local hotels and bars and many other businesses would recognize a substantial benefit from an improved – and longer – race meet. All of this could be made possible through the passage of Racino legislation. 

Jeff Maday
Shakopee

Maday is media relations manager for Canterbury Park.

John Smith March 08, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Jeff you're absolutely right it's about time that your lawmakers get their hands on the Indian pockets and pass legislation for racinos
Dave Astar March 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Jeff, so true. The numbers are not just scary. They describe what is called a geometric DEATH SPIRAL in statistical terms. Without Racino passage this year, I'm afraid horse racing's survival in Minnesota is unlikely. Factually, somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people will be negatively affected. The politicians who are blocking Racino legislation from even getting a FAIR SHAKE (VOTE ON THE FLOOR), AND those who are sitting on their hands playing deaf, dumb and blind, will be to blame!

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