Dog day afternoon: DIS starts renovation
Robin Braig climbed into the cockpit of a giant backhoe, then used the large, metal claw to take a bite out of the old Daytona Beach Kennel Club Wednesday morning.
The 60-year-old clubhouse will be completely demolished in the next few weeks as Daytona International Speedway begins the transformation of the blighted property into a park-like addition to the track.
"Not only is this property a wonderful gateway statement to our community but we'll match it up to Daytona Live!; the vegetation, trees, the whole theme will match Daytona Live!," said Braig, the Speedway's president.
"We're going to demolish this building, add some tram stops here and move the grandstand gates out."
In the near term, for the July 4 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Speedway plans to use the property as a parking area for the main grandstands.
By February, 2010, the land will be turned into a new grandstand entrance with plenty of grass and trees.
"For the people who sit on the west end of the track, they almost had to walk to this end of the track from the start-finish line," Braig said. "Now they'll have an entrance point here.
"Eventually, we will move all our merchandise trailers, our hospitality tent, our food and beverage, all along this frontstretch. It will be a wonderful way to have fun at the racetrack."