Kalispel Tribe offers to buy Spokane County Raceway
Public hearing planned for proposed $4.75 million transactionMay 5th, 2021
The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is offering to buy the 243-acre Spokane County Raceway park from Spokane County for $4.75 million, according to a press release issued today by Spokane County.
The sale would include the land, buildings, and some business-related equipment located at 750 N. Hayford in Airway Heights that is currently owned by the county. The raceway is located on the northwest corner of Hayford Road and Sprague Avenue, north of Northern Quest Resort & Casino, which is owned by the Kalispel Tribe.
The offer was announced today during a special meeting of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, as part of a notice to the City of Airway Heights, which holds first right of refusal on one of the three parcels of land that make up the raceway park. The city has 30 days to use or terminate its option
The transaction will be subject to a public hearing, which will be held after the city of Airway Heights’ 30 days to buy or release its claim to a portion of the property are up, says Jared Webley, spokesman with the county. A public notice will be sent about a week prior to the hearing, he adds.
If approved, the sale could lead to the reopening of the raceway to the public, the county states in the release, which cites a state law that allows the county to sell property it owns directly to a federally recognized tribe by declaring the property surplus.
A representative of the tribe couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
As the Journal previously reported, Spokane County acquired the property, formerly named Spokane Raceway Park, at auction in 2008 for $4.3 million. At the time, the raceway was under court-appointed receivership as part of a legal battle between the track’s former owner, Orville Moe, and investors who alleged they never received dividends from the racetrack operations.
Since then, the county has contracted three different operators to run the raceway. Commissioners terminated an agreement with the most recent operator, Raceway Investments LLC, on March 2 at the operator’s request.
The Spokane County Raceway was built in the 1970s with a half-mile oval, quarter-mile drag strip, and a 2.5-mile road course that accommodates stock cars and motorcycles, with seating for 15,000 spectators.