BIDDEFORD – Scarborough Downs and Ocean Properties, LTD, a hotel management and development company with numerous properties in Maine, are proposing a hotel, entertainment and racino complex in Biddeford, the companies announced today at a press conference in Biddeford.
Last month, Scarborough Downs officials announced their intention to move the racing facility to Biddeford and place it alongside a proposed slot-machine gambling operation. The new racino has to be approved at a local referendum, and the item is on the November ballot in Biddeford. Statewide rules would also have to be altered, likely through legislation.
Tom Walsh founded Ocean Properties, LTD, which includes resort destinations in Maine and around the world, including the Samoset in Rockland and Marriott, Westin, Holiday Inn hotels from Bar Harbor to South Portland. The Walsh family has also been involved in harness racing industry for more than three decades. Ocean Properties, based in Portsmouth, N.H., was in discussions to renovate the Maine State Pier, but stopped pursuing that project in early 2009.
As proposed, the Biddeford Downs Racino would combine harness racing with a slot machine and entertainment complex, according to a press release sent in conjunction with today's press conference.
The project, the release said, would "preserve the great tradition of Maine harness racing, preserve over 100,000 acres of the state's most beautiful open, productive farmland, generate badly needed revenue for Biddeford and the state, and be an important partner in making historic Biddeford a Maine and New England destination."
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