Yava­pai Downs sells for $3.2M

The Arizona Republic - - News - Vic­tor Ren Repub­lic re­porter Den­nis Wag­ner con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Real-es­tate in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment com­pany JACOR Part­ners has pur­chased Yava­pai Downs in Prescott Val­ley for $3.22 mil­lion, with plans to re­turn horse rac­ing to the area, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease is­sued by the com­pany Fri­day.

Yava­pai Downs is a 90,000-square­foot club­house in north­east Prescott Val­ley. The club­house sits on 120 acres and can ac­com­mo­date 800 horses, the re­lease says, and the new own­ers plan to in­vest mil­lions for im­prove­ments.

Yava­pai Downs has not hosted a race since 2010.

The track opened in 2001 at a cost of $23 mil­lion, re­plac­ing the an­ti­quated Prescott Downs, which be­gan stag­ing races in 1913. In 2005, state of­fi­cials threat­ened to can­cel the track’s rac­ing per­mit over ques­tions of sol­vency. Yava­pai Downs can­celed its 2011 sea­son be­cause the track was in debt and los­ing money, a man­ager at the time said.

‘A fun place to of­fer sum­mer­time horse rac­ing’

Tom Auther, an af­fil­i­ate of JACOR and owner of Yava­pai Downs, said in a state­ment that Yava­pai Downs will be a great at­trac­tion to the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of Prescott.

“Yava­pai Downs is a great struc­ture that will be a fun place to of­fer sum­mer­time horse rac­ing in Ari­zona with all the ameni­ties, at­trac­tions and great sum­mer tem­per­a­tures as­so­ci­ated with Prescott,” Auther said. “Ari­zona has a pop­u­la­tion of more than 7 mil­lion and is one of Amer­ica’s fastest­grow­ing states, and Prescott and the sur­round­ing area is rapidly ex­pand­ing with a pop­u­la­tion ap­proach­ing 300,000.”

Corey John­son, pres­i­dent of Ken­tucky Downs, part­nered with JACOR Part­ners on the pur­chase.

He said it’s grat­i­fy­ing to re­build the horse-rac­ing scene in Ari­zona be­cause it holds a lot of value to him.

“I am hon­ored to be a part of Yava­pai Downs,” John­son said. “I am very im­pressed with the JACOR Part­ners team, who are Ari­zona na­tives with a life­time of ex­pe­ri­ence in the state in many busi­ness deals. Their com­mit­ment to mak­ing this hap­pen has been ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

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