New Kent County Celebrates Return of Colonial Downs
Independent Analysis Estimates County Will Gain Millions Annually in Tax Revenue; Facility Will Create Hundreds of Jobs in County
“We are thrilled to celebrate the return of horse racing at Colonial Downs. Good jobs and revenue are coming back to our county.”
Thomas W. Evelyn
County Board of Supervisors Chairman
NEW KENT COUNTY – New Kent County government officials are celebrating the return of racing to Colonial Downs, and the positive impacts it will generate in the county. The facility had been open since 1997, before seeing its last race run in 2013 and subsequently closing for good in 2014. Last week it was announced that Revolutionary Racing and Peninsula Pacific, working with partner JNB Gaming, have purchased the track, and are set to bring back competitive racing to the county and Commonwealth.
Speaking about the return of Colonial Downs, Board of Supervisors Chairman Thomas W. Evelyn, remarked, “Horse racing is part of the fabric of New Kent County. There’s a reason our county logo features a horse. When Colonial Downs closed in 2014 we not only lost hundreds of jobs and critically needed tax revenue to fund our schools, roads, and law enforcement; we also lost a part of our identity. Now, we are thrilled to celebrate the return of horse racing at Colonial Downs. Good jobs and revenue are coming back to our county. We look forward to working with the teams at Revolutionary Racing, Peninsula Pacific and JNB Gaming to ensure that horse racing is now here to stay in New Kent County. This is a moment we will long remember.”
New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway added, “There is no reason New Kent County can’t be synonymous with horse racing. We’ve got the location for it, and the infrastructure. What we’ve needed are true partners to make it work. This year we found those partners in the members of the General Assembly who passed legislation to make this reopening possible, and Governor Ralph Northam who signed the bill. And we are especially grateful we found those partners in the individuals with Revolutionary Racing, Peninsula Pacific and JNB Gaming who are committed to making Colonial Downs a true horse racing destination. The jobs this facility will create, and the revenue it will generate, are a game changer for us. This is going to improve the quality of life in our county, and make New Kent stronger. We look forward to the first race back at the track, and many more to come.”
The Virginia General Assembly, with strong bipartisan majorities, passed legislation this session to allow for historical horse racing in the Commonwealth, which was necessary to truly bring back horse racing to Virginia and to make a reopening of Colonial Downs viable. Governor Ralph Northam signed the legislation. An independent analysis of the reopening performed by Chmura Economics and Analytics, found that the return of horse racing to Virginia, via the allowance of historical horse racing, would mean, statewide, the creation of over 1400 new jobs; an annual economic impact of $349.1 million; and the generation of $41.6 million in annual state and local tax revenue. The estimate found that New Kent County, and other impacted localities, would receive $15.3 million of that yearly tax revenue.