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HOME > > Camptown Racetrack Reopens To Enthusiastic Crowds

Camptown Racetrack Reopens To Enthusiastic Crowds

7 August 2000

FRONTENAC, KANSAS –Aug. 7, 2000 – As reported by The Associated Press: "Greyhound racing returned to the Camptown Greyhound Park and, at least for one night, the reopened track seemed poised to erase bad memories from the first failed attempt.

"A capacity crowd of about 2,500 turned out Friday for the first pari-mutuel greyhound racing at the track in nearly five years.

"The buzz that started about an hour before post-time and continued through the four-hour program seemed to indicate an interest exists in supporting a greyhound park in southeast Kansas.

"…While waiting for the 7 p.m. post time, visitors surveyed the reopened park, chatted with others or watched thoroughbred horse racing on the simulcast monitors stationed throughout the big main hall. One of the features of the reopened park is the availability simulcast wagering from tracks across the nation.

"We understand this is a moment southeast Kansas has been waiting for, for a long time," Holton said. "Generally we've been very, very pleased with the response all week long." Friday's crowd included a mixture of children, families, college students and senior citizens.

"…Located on U.S. 69 just north of Pittsburg, the track is trying to overcome a troubled history.

"The Kansas Racing Commission first licensed a southeast Kansas dog track in 1988, but four developers couldn't secure financing for the $14 million track. A fifth, Camptown Greyhound Racing, opened the park in May 1995.

"By November 1995, the park estimated it was losing $250,000 a month. It finished its only season six weeks early, and the original operators filed for bankruptcy early in 1996.

"Two years later, two of the original investors bought the park for a little more than $3 million. They sold it to Phil Ruffin, who owns Wichita Greyhound Park and also operates the Frontier Casino in Las Vegas and the Crystal Palace Resort and Casino in the Bahamas.

"With his 21 years in the racing business, Holton said, things will be different this time around.

"For one night, at least, Camptown looks like a success…"


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