Ada County may lease the Turf Club to a business or organization

The Turf Club at Expo Idaho was used for horse racing betting and simulcasting until the fall of 2015.

BOISE, Idaho – As Ada County leaders weigh the possibilities for the future of Expo Idaho ownership, the county now wants to hear from businesses or organizations interested in renting the Turf Club.

This facility has lain unused for more than six years, since the end of horse racing, simulcast racing and betting at Les Bois Park.

The Turf Club is along the Boise River, near the corner of Glenwood Street and Chinden Boulevard.

The Ada County Board of Commissioners announced Friday that the board is seeking bids from those interested in leasing the Turf Club. In a press release, the county touts the Turf Club as a “centrally located facility with ample parking and over 12,000 square feet.”

Turf Club’s 12,495 square feet of usable space is spread over two levels.

The details of the request are displayed on the county e-procurement website.

“The council is committed to supporting innovative business opportunities that enable the best use of our facilities at EXPO Idaho. We look forward to hearing about and evaluating ideas presented to us that would provide a revenue stream. robust for the county and would allow us to partner with organizations that provide value to all county residents,” the Ada County Board of Commissioners said in a written statement.

Horse racing and simulcasting at the Woods and Turf Club ended in 2015, after the Idaho Legislature repealed the law authorizing historic horse racing machines. Three years later, a majority of Idaho voters voted against a statewide initiative that would have re-authorized the devices and, according to the initiative’s supporters, saved horse racing in Idaho.

In 2019, Ada County commissioners confirmed that horse racing would not return to the Woods and Expo Idaho. In January, commissioners voted to remove the stables and use $550,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding for removal and related environmental cleanup. The county plans to move Lady Bird Park to where the stables used to be, which is closer to the river than the park’s current location.

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