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Spokane Raceway super oval contract terminated

Mon., Aug. 27, 2012, 3:37 p.m.

Raceway Investments LLC, the main operator of Spokane County Raceway, has terminated a subcontract with the operator of the facility’s super oval course.

Craig Smith, manager or Raceway Investments, said the contract was terminated after the oval operator fell “significantly behind” on rent payments.

Financial losses mounted after strict liquor rules prohibited the sale of beer inside the oval race area.

Full Blown Promotions, which was operating the oval, held their last race on Saturday. The company has been operated by the mother and son team of Sheri and Brycen Tarr.

“We are a family that loves racing,” Sheri Tarr said on Monday. “I put a lot of money into it.”

She estimated that she had invested $350,000.

Raceway Investments leases the park from the county, and in turn, had subcontracted with Full Blown Productions for operation of the oval. The subcontract was in place prior to Raceway Investments taking over the track this year.

The county is not financially liable for the losses among the two private vendors.

Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke, a racing enthuiast and proponent of Spokane County’s purchase of the track, held a press conference with Smith to announce the change in management.

He and Smith were confronted by Sheri Tarr and race drivers who are supporting her operation.

“I stuck my neck out to save racing,” Mielke said of the county’s 2008 purchase of the track for $4.4 million.

Smith said that he is hoping to hire a manager for the oval track and continue its remaining racing schedule this season.

Beer sales will be allowed in the oval because the track’s liquor license is held by Raceway Investments. Beer and other alcohol could not be sold by Full Blown Promotions under a liquor rule prohibiting alcohol sales by a tenant operating under a sublease, Mielke and Smith said.

This version of the story has been changed to reflect the fact that the county is not liable for the losses of the two private companies.


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