PCDI with New President, Directors and Back at the Track


Two New Board Members for PCDI, Robbins and Lusher

Larry Lusher of Farmer-Stockman Realty and Rick Robbins of Colorado Mills, attended the Prowers County Development Incorporated monthly meeting as the two newest board members, Tuesday, March 26.  They were elected to the PCDI board during last month’s annual banquet meeting.  Board member, Marsha Willhite, Holly Town Administrator was elected as PCDI President replacing Cathy Buxton.   Deb Choat was elected as Vice-President and Lawrence Brase remains Secretary/Treasurer. 

Lusher suggested the board consider the viability and economic advantages of bringing horse racing back to Gateway Downs in Holly.  He said, “For the past several years, I’ve been involved with the horse racing events that have been held in conjunction with the Holly Fair.”  He said hundreds of people come to the area for those two days of racing.  For numerous years, the racetrack just west of Holly was a hub of activity for about five weeks in April and May as races were run on those weekends.  Lusher said that although not as many people attend the current seasonal races now as they did about 15 years ago, “The interest in horse racing is still there.”   He added, “Back when they conducted the races over those five weeks, the amount of money that was spent in the community was unbelievable.  It was good for the whole county.  We had trainers that stayed there and they would buy fuel, food, feed, clothing..everything you could imagine and not to mention the sales tax revenues.” 

Lusher said he’s been in contact with several people in the racing industry and he’d like to pursue the project to see if the races can’t get going again.  He cautioned there were several obstacles that would be encountered including the rough conditions of the facilities at the racetrack.  The grounds are in pretty good shape.   Lusher explained, “It would take a major influx of money to get things back to the way they were again.  The potential is there, but it would take some work.”  He said he needs to determine proof of ownership for Gateway Downs.  The other equation is would there be enough of a demand for racing to attract owners, trainers and riders back to this area?  What type of a pay off purse would be needed to put the racetrack on a competitive basis with other facilities? Lusher added he’s been in contact with people from the Colorado Gaming Commission who said pari-mutuel or simulcast racing would be the current best option. 

PCDI Executive Director, Lisa Nolder, briefed board members on her activities for this past March.  She’s been in touch with a new group, The Southern Colorado Manufacturing Consortium, based in Fountain.  A grant is being sought which will enable the Consortium to function as a property clearing house for prospective buyers or renters in manufacturing in southeastern Colorado.  Nolder said she’s contacted ARPA officials about the cost of electricity and the desire of major businesses and some elected officials to meet with the ARPA board to receive information on the Repowering Project’s bonds and the electric rate structure for other ARPA municipal members. 

Nolder said local realtor Sharon Wilson continues to show the former Big R warehouse and offices to one or two interested parties, but the property remains for sale at this point.  The annual insurance premiums for the property, $4,889 was paid and will be amortized over 12 months.  Property taxes on the land and buildings were appraised at $5,150.  The board adjourned into executive session.  The next PCDI meeting will be April 30.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEnergyEntertainmentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountyRecreationUtilities


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