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Raceway inspection draws potential promoters, interests

An open house at Grays Harbor Raceway conducted on Tuesday drew about 15 individuals of numerous interests, including those representing Skagit Speedway in Skagit County and South Sound Speedway in Rochester.

During the tour, four interest groups representing potential prospective bidders including the two speedways were asking questions about the facility. Whitney’s owner Stormy Glick was also in attendance, but Glick made mention during the tour of the facility that he was not looking at the raceway with the intent to make a lease proposal.

The members of the public were led through the facility by Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds Director Mike Bruner and other employees of the fairgrounds. Grays Harbor County Commissioner Wes Cormier was also along to answer any questions the prospective bidders may have had during the tour.

The facility looked maintained, but the race track was soggy and would need preparations for the next season, observation showed. There were obvious signs that the previous owners left in haste. Tour members had to walk through pad locked gates to get into the facility.

The county commissioners cancelled the leasing contract with Great Northwest Promotions LLC in October, citing numerous unpaid bills owed the county. The county and the an attorney for the former promoter have been working through the details of who owns what.

Questions from those in attendance ranged from what equipment would remain at the facility to how the neighboring property owners interact with the fairgrounds and raceway. Some in attendance also asked Bruner what kinds of improvements might be made in the future.

“We would just like to see a little bit more communication working together on event scheduling and coordination and just general conversation and dialogue,” Bruner said. “I don’t know what they are going to do as far as improvements. Whatever it takes for them to run their business as soundly as possible that is what they will end up doing. We are just hoping that whoever this new promoter is comes in with fresh eyes and ears and they are willing to sit down and have some dialogue that can help create a situation that is positive for them and for us.”

Bruner said the time frame for the new promoter to get the facility in shape to race may be different from past seasons because some of the equipment used by the past promoter is no longer on site and will have to be replaced by the individual who leases the facility.

“These people are going to have to bring all that stuff from wherever and get things set up and in place,” Bruner said. “There is a lot of work that is going to have to be done. Let’s say that this contract gets signed in January, I think whoever that person is they are not going to be waiting until March to get things set up. I foresee whoever it is coming in right away and getting things put in place.”

Cormier addressed questions as to how soon the the commissioners may make a selection by stating that there is a meeting scheduled on Dec. 31 and that all interested parties have until Dec. 30 to submit a lease proposal to the commissioners. On Dec. 31 the commissioners may then select the top three proposals and interview those individuals, Cormier said adding that he hopes to have a decision made as soon as Jan. 3.

“It is nice to know that there is interest and some of the feedback was positive,” Bruner said. “It was positive about the track itself, about the facilities, about the potential with the local fan base and different things that could happen. I think that there was potential seen here by those guys and a lot of them are well dialed in to Northwest racing so they know the potential.”

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