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Emmett's old sawmill to be turned into mixed-use racetrack and event center

Developers hope to have the raceway open in 2021.

GEM COUNTY, Idaho — A one of a kind race track and event center will soon be coming to Gem County.

John Wood, who is a developer, told KTVB he is trying to transform the old Emmett Saw Mill, but while still preserving the history. 

The goal is to try and revitalize the city. The old mill closed in 2011, and it’s sat empty ever since then. The plan is to now transform the mill and fill the air with the sounds one hears at a racetrack.

“We’ve got a 1.6-mile road course, racetrack approved,” Wood said. “We’re currently going to be putting in about 90 RV spots.”

The race track will be a road course. This means there will be multiple changes of direction for the cars, compared to a circle course or a drag-racing course.

“We want to make something special and accessible and something that honors the history of the town and the mill that’s stood on these grounds for over 100 years now," Wood said.

Their goal is more than just building a racetrack, but also help bring people into the community and the town of Emmett.

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“What will happen is we’re hoping to help revive downtown,” Wood said.

Gem State Raceway told KTVB they believe the location will be perfect to attract people nearby communities into Emmett and Gem County.

“It's not far from Eagle, not far from Boise,” Gage Welfley, the director of marketing for Gem State Raceway, said. “It’s a stone’s throw away from basically anywhere in the valley that has the most amount of people.”

Their plan is to bring something unique to Emmett and give people a chance to enjoy something unlike anything else in the country.

“There is no other track that has used an old mill and downtown and left the history,” Wood said.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony happening here at the mill here on October 26. It will be a charity event benefitting Operation Grateful Hearts. 

It’ll be a trunk or treat and costume friendly for kids.

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