After a two-month closure, Kawartha Downs re-opened in time for Christmas with 150 slot machines and 21 racing dates for the 2019 Harness Racing Schedule.
This was no small achievement with staff, management and the operator working around the clock to make this happen. Current operating hours are noon to 10 pm while the casino hires more staff, when the hours will be extended. General Manager Orazio Valente confirms that the closures on Christmas and Boxing Day were determined at the outset and not the result of any unexpected issues.
The new race schedule includes three more dates than were allotted in 2018, but does not approach the 40 races the General Manager suggested were required to make the facility viable.
While Valente could not confirm actual business volumes as only the casino operator has this information, customer volumes appear to be meeting expectations. With this first stage complete, over the next few weeks, he will explore other opportunities to increase traffic to the facility.
Since the receiver placed an ad in the Globe and Mail soliciting offers to purchase the facility in November, there has been no news regarding the potential change in ownership. No asking price was indicated, but the property includes 115 acres, the leased slot facility, the food and beverage operation, the race track and horse stables. KG