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DATE News (chronologically)
03/25/09
track news
ISC to make another run at Kansas City Casino  International Speedway Corp., the Daytona Beach-based stock-car racing giant, has already cut ticket prices to try drawing fans back to a sport reeling from the loss of big-money sponsors, decreased television ratings and failed plans to expand into the New York area and Washington state.

The company, whose stock price has dropped 50 percent in the past year, closing Tuesday at $21.72 a share, is expected to make a second run next week at a new revenue source: casino gambling.

An ISC spokesman said the company would submit a bid to the state of Kansas by April 1 to develop a casino-hotel and a dining-retail-entertainment complex next to its speedway in Kansas City.

It's part of a larger strategy to "unlock the value on the balance of land we have," spokesman Charles Talbert said. ISC, which owns or operates 13 racetracks, owns or leases a combined 13,000 acres.

That strategy has already been slowed by several unexpected pit stops, however, as slumping real-estate values and a general malaise in the construction business have contributed to the company's financial funk.

In Kansas, ISC withdrew in December its first bid to build a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with partner Cordish Co. because of "uncertainty in the global financial markets and the expected inability to debt finance the full project at reasonable rates," according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kansas reopened the bidding process earlier this year for the casino-management contract, and ISC plans to submit a new proposal, this time with a phased approach for the other components. The original proposal called for a single-phase, $705 million complex, with 3,000 slot machines and 140 gaming tables in the casino; 275,000 square feet of entertainment space, including a live-music venue; and a convention center.

Gambling could give the company's bottom line a much-needed boost, after a series of expensive missteps in recent years. More at Orlando Sentinel

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