Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Downtown Dixon Business Association has endorsed the proposed Dixon Downs

Article Last Updated: 4/19/2005 06:34 AM

Businesses stand behind Dixon Downs

By Barbara Smith/Business WriterTheReporter.Com

The Downtown Dixon Business Association has endorsed the proposed Dixon Downs thoroughbred horse racing track and commercial development.

Angela Meisenheimer, executive director of the merchants' association, said 61 businesses were polled with 78 percent in favor of the project, 18 percent undecided and 4 percent against it.
Magna Entertainment Corp - the largest operator of thoroughbred race tracks in North America - wants to build a $250 million horse racing, entertainment and commercial facility on 260 acres south of Interstate 80 and west of Pedrick Road.

Members and non-members of the association were polled, Meisenheimer said. It is unknown how many business polled also are members of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce, which announced its endorsement of the project April 7.

The chamber surveyed its 264 members, with 115 responding. Roughly 90 percent of those favored the development, said Gordon Hammond, president of the chamber.
Meanwhile, a group calling themselves "Dixon Citizens for Quality Growth" have formed to oppose the project. They held their first meeting Saturday to discuss city-sponsored information exchanges held this year and the upcoming draft of the environmental impact report.
The draft environmental report is expected to be ready in May or June.

Dixon Downs calls for a two-phase project, with the first being construction of the horse racing and training facility, including the track, stables, grandstands and groom's quarters. That would be followed by the second phase, which would include a mixed-use commercial complex with such amenities as a multi-screen movie theater, hotel-conference center, restaurants, retail merchants and office space.

Barbara Smith can be reached atbusiness@thereporter.com.

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