Will Vernon Downs Be Closing Soon?
The future of Vernon Downs may be in jeopardy without action by Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature.
A press statement from Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon on Tuesday evening read:
“I have been notified by my constituents of the possible closing of Vernon Downs in stages, if the legislative and executive branches can’t find a solution to supporting another tax credit extender. I have worked endlessly with my colleagues in the legislature in the past and will continue to do so to assist Vernon Downs to remain open. My number one priority remains the employees and their families”
The Vernon Downs racino - the harness racing track, gambling operations, and hotel - is owned by Jeff Gural, who also owns and operates Tioga Downs.
In the past, Gural has cited massive losses at Vernon Downs, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, and has been able to get state lawmakers to agree to special tax credits that have kept the track open for the last several years. Such previous agreements with the state have allowed Gural to take a portion of taxes owed to the state from Vernon's video lottery terminals and redirect the money to renovation and enhancement of the property.
Vernon Downs opened for it's 70th season on April 15.