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Off to the races
Remington Park draws visitors to Adventure District

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: October 4, 2007

/> Courtney Gutekunst, coordinator of the Adventure District, estimates attendance at area attractions is up by at least 1 million from the last count of 2.5 million released in 2005.

"I think Remington Park is doing very well,” Gutekunst said. "They have people at the casino every day, and it's rejuvenated interest in horse racing.”

Looking ahead

Meanwhile, Wells is continuing to pursue development of a hotel on racetrack grounds.

"Having a hotel component in the Adventure District would be something we would all be excited about,” Wells said. "It would add a component we've not had, where we really become a destination where people can stay in the district and see all of the venues.”

Michael Carrier, director of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, is eager to see Wells succeed at luring a hotel.

"If you look at the state capital, the Adventure District, and all the activity at the softball complex, we're bringing high-end business that having a quality well-run property in that area certainly will make a difference in attracting more of these groups,” Carrier said.

Wells admits he's been hit with plenty of questions about the track's future since the announcement that it's on the market. His answer is consistent: "Remington Park is going to operate no matter who owns it. It will continue to be a thriving business, and it will continue to provide jobs in the horse industry.”

Wells predicted no potential buyer is going to tamper with the park's success.

"We probably won't see a transaction right away,” Wells said. "I don't expect to lay off people, I don't expect to reduce the number of race days — that's legislated. We're owned by a large company that needs to sell some assets. ... As a property with a winning record, we're going to be interesting to a number of buyers.”

Thoroughbred horses finish the first race on a Friday afternoon in front of the grandstand at Remington Park Racetrack in northeast Oklahoma City in this 2004 photo. The Oklahoman archive


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