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Ada County offering Turf Club for lease to business or organization

The Turf Club at Expo Idaho was used for betting on and simulcasting of horse races until Fall 2015.

BOISE, Idaho — As Ada County leaders weigh possibilities for the future of the Expo Idaho property, the county now wants to hear from businesses or organizations interested in leasing the Turf Club.

That facility has gone unused for more than six years, ever since horse racing, race simulcasting and betting ended at Les Bois Park.

The Turf Club is along the Boise River near the corner of Glenwood Street and Chinden Boulevard.

The Ada County Board of Commissioners announced Friday that the board is requesting submissions from those interested in leasing the Turf Club. In a news release, the county touts the Turf Club as a "centrally located facility with ample parking and more than 12,000 square feet."

The Turf Club's 12,495 square feet of usable space is situated on two levels.

Details of the request are posted on the county's e-procurement website.

"The Board is committed to supporting innovative business opportunities that allow for the best and highest use of our facilities at EXPO Idaho. We are eager to hear about and evaluate ideas brought to us that would provide a robust revenue stream for the county and allow us to partner with organizations that bring value to all the residents of the county," the Ada County Board of Commissioners said in a written statement.

Horse racing and simulcasting at Les Bois, and the Turf Club, ended in 2015, after the Idaho Legislature repealed the law that authorized historical horse racing machines. Three years later, a majority of Idaho voters voted against a statewide initiative that would have once again allowed those devices and, the initiative's backers claimed, saved horse racing in Idaho.

In 2019, Ada County commissioners confirmed that horse racing would not return to Les Bois and Expo Idaho. Commissioners in January voted to remove the stables and use $550,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the removal and related environmental cleanup. The county plans to move Lady Bird Park to where the stables have been located, which is closer to the river than the park's current location.

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