Horse Racing Reined In, Ag Park Potential Opens Up

The long touted GUARDIAN plans for an Idaho Agricultural HERITAGE PARK have new potential following the recent announcement by horse racing proponents opting out of their lease of Les Bois race track.

Here is the official press release from Ada County:The Board of Ada County Commissioners (BOCC) received notice from Treasure Valley Racing on Friday, November 30, 2018 that they will not be renewing their lease at Les Bois Park.

Since 2016, Treasure Valley Racing has leased the 63-acre park from Ada County. The lease was not set to expire until the end of 2020. Treasure Valley Racing had the option to renew the lease or give Ada County 30 days’ notice if they wanted to forgo the remaining two years of the lease.

Future plans for the racetrack and Turf Club are unknown at this time. The BOCC will be meeting with the Director of Expo Idaho in the coming weeks to discuss options. Any major decisions will be passed to the new BOCC. Diana Lachiondo, Commissioner-elect District 1 and Kendra Kenyon, Commissioner-elect District 3 will take office on January 14, 2019.

We have been seeking development of a historical “Destination Venue” at the track featuring a turn of the century farm with horses, barns, wagon and carriage rides, old tractors, etc. We feel this would be great to teach the history of Idaho agriculture as well as serving as a fun place to visit. Currently there isn’t much more than the Old Pen to attract visitors attending the many conventions booked in Boise each year.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Maybe the agriculture heritage type park in Jerome could be persuaded to move to the Big City away from the agriculture area of Idaho and display their equipment at the fairgrounds. May even give them a few more visitors as well.

    Naw, we would rather have duplicate services and try to drive off the small guy, yes sarcasm, including the former historical farm at Hidden Springs that was supposed to be a heritage park but is now (last I heard) threatened by developers wanting to expand Hidden Springs.

  2. It could be an excellent working, outdoor complement to the new State Historical Museum downtown, whose interactive displays can only show so much.

  3. Disney Cruise Ship
    Dec 4, 2018, 9:26 pm

    In the big dredge pits within the Boise River we can put a Disney cruise ship or two. Stationary yes, but who cares, people go on cruises just to drink and run away from home so view or ports of call unimportant. We could build a Disney monorail on elevated posts zooming all over town too. Let us not forget a huge cable tramway all the way to Bogus. Each summer add another cruise ship and the Bogus tramway can haul the dirt from new dredge pit up to the top of the mountain. In time we could have a genuinely tall enough ski mountain. Sounds crazy, but so did Edmonton mall, so did Disneyland, so did gigantic barge-like cruise ships which travel a few miles a day to the same nasty trashy ports.

    Now then, back to reality. The fairground is ideal land for high end residential or commercial developments. Perhaps an Amazon HQ3 site. The current location of many many large corporate headquarters sucks so bad we should be trying to talk them into moving to Idaho. Offering the numerous government owned reserves on the river will turn some heads. Will that happen? No, our shortsighted tax-n-spend liberal leaders and the impoverished fools who elect them simply want more government projects without expanding the tax base. Bieter does not want a Bezos in Boise cuz it will make him look small.

  4. “there isn’t much more than the Old Pen to attract visitors attending the many conventions”

    Right. Who doesn’t like to go see a penitentiary?

    I hear the Boise Visitor Center is looking for retired journalists to be tour guides for their new program, “Cemeteries and Penitentiaries, the Most Fun You Can have in Boise”

    No thanks on the Heritage Park. Sell the land and move the fairgrounds to cheaper dirt with better access.

  5. Are You Out of Your Mind?
    Dec 5, 2018, 10:38 am

    Are you kidding me? A WHAT?

    This is one of the largest local tracts of land that is already paved over that is prime, with tremendous existing infrastructure, that needs to be made into dense multi-family housing!

    People cannot afford to live in this county and you suggest such a waste of prime real estate?

    Stop living in the past and think of our children’s future.

  6. “Sell the land and move the fairgrounds to cheaper dirt with better access.”

    How about we just sell the land and scrap the fairgrounds and the fair.

  7. Dave Kangas
    Dec 5, 2018, 11:55 am

    To The Disney Cruise Ship: That is exactly what we don’t need at this site. The fairgrounds are an excellent opportunity for regional park/ out door activity center for the whole County. By the way this is county land not Garden City of City of Boise. It is my fear that with the demise of horse racing, moving the Hawk stadium that the fairgrounds will become irrelevent and ripe fordevelopment. This area needs a regional park that would serve Garden City, NW and West Boise and parts of Meridian. parks, out door recereation and quality of life are what initiated the high demand and popularity of the area. Ada County has not invested in parks or infrastructure to meet the need.

  8. Converting the property use for racing and the stables would free up grant restrictions placed on Lady Bird. That 20 acres should be developed commercially because there is absolutely no other use for the land. The revenue generated from its sale or development would fund the opportunity to develop a beautiful park along the river. An ag themed display is a poor idea. We aren’t all so urbanized that we need to go to a theme park to get in touch with our ag past. Talk about carrying coals to Newcastle.

  9. After a run a few weeks ago on the opposite side of the river from white water park, I saw tons of new housing, wineries, and places to eat. Many of the old trailer houses are being torn down and replaced by expensive condos. I think Garden City is really trying to change their image. My guess is you will see mixed use on the old race track.

    Sorry Guardian. You and the horse racing folks are living in the past. No one cares about horse racing or Idaho agriculture. I hope I am wrong…. but I’m not.

  10. Last time LeBois shut down, I helped pick up the pieces. I, and some of my friends, helped a lady who was stuck with 28 unwanted race horses. Shutting down the track is going to put a lot of great horses in a very precarious position, again. You’d think out of state buyers would snap them up, but for some reason, that’s not the case.

  11. Eamonn Harter
    Dec 5, 2018, 8:52 pm

    I am in favor of tearing down all of the structures, pulling up the pavement and turning the site into a big wildlife sanctuary, right in the heart of Boise. The county could buy out the new owners of Plantation golf course, and make a larger sanctuary straddling both sides of the river. We need a little more nature and a lot less development here in Boise.

  12. L. Rincover
    Dec 6, 2018, 5:34 am

    Reality check! First objective should be to tear down and rebuild Hawks Stadium on the Fairground site. Sorry team Dave…but it’s the most cost effective, environmentally sound, accessible and simply the right strategy for both the baseball public and the tax payers. Number two: build a park along the river or on the race track grounds. Number three: Turn the property over to Garden City developers and let the creativity and private development begin.

  13. How about the new Hawks Stadium??

  14. This would be a perfect spot for the baseball/soccer/event venue stadium, instead of downtown.

  15. I hope Rincover runs again.. the selection this time was pretty sparse. Visionaries vs. Ullman. We need some management.

  16. Disney Cruise Ship
    Dec 6, 2018, 11:29 am

    @ ‘Are You Out of Your Mind?’

    I do not think people on welfare should be allowed to vote. Yes that’s right. Take government handouts and lose some rights. Although welfare use is not one of our biggest threats it does cause people to vote for more welfare rater than joining society and the workforce.

    Affordable housing is welfare (to the builder-developer too). The expansion of welfare population causes expansion of government, expansion of crime, generations of underachievers, etc. More taxes on fewer people, neighborhood segregation, neighborhood blight, and a dozen other undesirables. Ask a honest school teacher who the hopeless most troubled kids are. Ask the clinic or ER who wastes the most time and money. Handouts do not help people long term.

    Want affordable? Move to a ghetto city rather than build a new ghetto here. We’d be much better off with my cruise ship full of drunks idea. Not out of my mind. Sane and logical. (Tip: 3M makes the best duct tape to hold YOUR head together when Trump replaces RBG and probably one more after that)

  17. It would be stupid to “give” in piece of Expo Idaho to anybody, especially Garden City. Now if Garden City or a private enterprise or even the State of Idaho wants to buy part or all of Expo Idaho, and make a serious offer, I think the county should at least listen. Regardless of what happens, somebody should pay Ada County/Expo Idaho. All profits should be used to either enhance the existing site or used at a new site for the fairgrounds.

  18. Mr Kangas has a great idea to make it an improved park- courtesy of Ada County.

    It could be an alternative to the monopoly Boise City has on parks for costly user fees at their parks; an alternative to terrible parking at Botanical Garden for concerts; and simply another venue for outside events, sports, music or otherwise- that is closer to the West residents. More ‘competition’ and space in the parks world.

    As the population moves west, so should OUR (not just City of Boise) riverside parks.

    Ada County states on their Parks webpage:
    Our Vision is to have a connected system of pathways on land and water on and near the Boise River from Lucky Peak Dam to the Snake River that binds the recreational, educational and economic opportunities of our river communities.”

    Here is their chance to add to that vision, and PROVE IT.
    I rescind my point of selling it. Keep and save for the county park system.

    Ada owns the Barber Park for floating. Maybe even a Barber to Glenwood standard recreational float? Cheers!

    NOTE: the piece of the Fairgrounds most of us see at the Glenwood intersection is actually already a park – Ladybird Park. All the better to have a blend of parks and a multi-use facility in that spot.

    NOTE 2: Garden City is really weak on their parks system, instead relying on Boise’s Park Dept such as Quinn’s, Veteran’s, Willow Sports Complex, and now Ester Simplot Park.

    No high expectations from any of us though, right? Ada County should already have this “future plan” in the works. Grade: Fail!

  19. Maybe Boise and Garden City can get together and have the trolly to no where that Beiter wants to build to become the “Trolly to Idaho Agriculture Heritage Park”. 2 loser might become 1 good idea….

    Just a thought…..

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