By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff
Prior to Hurricane Irma investors had expressed interest in developing horse-racing tracks in the British Virgin Islands and US Virgin Islands, and President of the BVI Horse Owners Association Patsy Lake said the time is ripe to bring such development project to life.
Virtually nothing is left of the state-owned Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cow’s Bay after Irma leveled stables and crushed the metal-forged grandstand like matchsticks.
“Only the government can make a decision whether they will be reviving the horse-racing or not because the stands are gone, the stables are gone, the track is gone, everything is gone. So you’re practically starting from scratch,” Lake said.
The horse owners association president stated that she is now ‘waiting patiently’ for Government to mull the proposal to allow investors to run the track.
“Before the storm, I was very much in favour with the government going with the proposal that they have on their desk with an investor who wants to develop St Croix, St Thomas, and Tortola tracks – which really would be the best thing for all of us because these people are into this business in a big way. And, if they are controlling all three tracks, they would ensure that all three tracks make it.”
“Of course they would invest in a barge, which would take the horses to and fro. So that would be of no cost to the various horse owners. I’m sure if Government would accept the offer, you will see people investing in the horses,” Lake further told BVI News Online.
She reasoned that such development would lead to major job creation in the hurricane-battered territory.
“I understand that the government would not have money at this time to even consider investing any [into the track] because they have got greater priorities to look into, and I think they’ve got a proposal they need to now consider seriously because it would bring the much needed work and money in the country.”
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