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Group continues efforts to save Palm Beach Raceway

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 3:56 PM EDT
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The group that wants to save the Palm Beach International Raceway said they are not giving up despite an announced sale of the property.

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There is a deal in the works to turn this old raceway into a warehouse-type facility, but the group that hopes to save it said they're still trying.

Formula Race Promotions had launched a public campaign to buy the property and turn it into a racing tourist attraction.

Representatives from the group were in town Tuesday because they say there is still interest in their proposal and how it might attract tourists to Palm Beach County.

"It's really not so much a new strategy, but the tourism and development council asked us to come in and speak about the impact of our vision of the track, what we wanted to do and they're very delighted to hear about expansion possibilities and what it means to the local economy down here," said Al Guibord with Formula Race Promotions.

Former Indy 500 champion Danny Sullivan is among those trying to save the track.

"I'd still like to see it happen. We do not plan on going away until they start scraping the track," Sullivan said.

Guibord said his idea still has the interest of the Palm Beach County Tourism Development Board.

"We're going to come down again in December, and they'd like us to do a formal presentation to the board and explain to them exactly our vision for the area and really the impact from a tourism perspective," Guibord said.

It's not clear if this will have any impact on the sale to the other buyer in the private sale, but it does seem to indicate there is interest still in finding some way to keep the raceway.

"It's in a great location. It's been here 62 years," Sullivan said.

In a memo filed with the county in September, a firm called Portman Industrial has agreed to buy the property and essentially locked out any more potential buyers.

But apparently, there are zoning hurdles to clear for the deal and the racing developers said they essentially want to keep the track just as it is.

"The biggest thing is, from what we're told, this is not over by any means. This is a long process," Guibord said.

The Tourism and Development Board could issue a letter of endorsement for the raceway plan to the county commissioners, who must approve any zoning changes.

"We're not trying to say, 'Don't put logistics centers in.' That's great. We just think we'd like to see it in another location because this location is already a race track," Sullivan said.

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