County Connections: Kentucky Speedway continues to be an economic driver for the region

03/28/2017 05:59 PM

SPARTA – Kentucky Speedway is in its 17th year of operation in Gallatin County, and the most known business in the county continues to be an economic generator for the region during its racing weeks.

It’s estimated that the NASCAR World Truck Series, XFINITY Series, and Cup Series weekend at Kentucky Speedway brings in an estimated $100 million to local businesses for the week of the races which will be July 6 – 8 this year.

Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger says Kentucky Speedway’s success is based on how successful other entertainment and hospitality businesses are in the region during racing weeks.

“You know, the restaurants have to win, the hoteliers have to win, the other events in town, the other venues that are in here, you know, I want Clint Brown’s Florence Freedom to have a great week,” Simendinger said. “I want Belterra Casino to do well. I want the Ark to do well. I want Covington’s restaurants to do well.”

One thing Simendinger has been thankful for is the close relationship the speedway has had with the governor’s office from day one.

“We’ve always enjoyed, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, a really good relationship,” Simendinger said. “I think Governor Bevin has been fantastic for Kentucky Speedway. I support him 100 percent, and whenever I need something, I’ve got access to him and he wants to know how he can help, and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

A comprehensive renovation of the racing surface occurred during the first quarter of 2016.

The makeover included increased banking turns in Turns 1 and 2 to 17 degrees. In addition, the track featured improved drainage, additional SAFER barrier and repaving of the entire 1.5 mile tri-oval.

Kentucky Speedway grandstands will be smoke-free, including the use of e-cigarettes and vapor cigarettes, beginning this year.

The policy applies to all seating areas, including suites, clubs, and terrace boxes.
The speedway will continue to permit smoking in all other areas including the parking lots, camping and display areas.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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