Sale of Charles Town racetrack near

May 09, 1991|By Bill Free

Baltimore-area businessmen Irving Hodges and Bill Coleman have reached a tentative agreement to purchase Charles Town (W.Va.) Race Track in a deal that is expected to be made final within 30 days.

No purchase price was announced yesterday at a news conference, but it is believed that Hodges and Coleman will pay the current group of 12 owners far more than the $12 million they paid for the track in 1983.

D. Keith Wagner, president of the track's board of directors, said yesterday that Hodges and Coleman had paid a substantial non-refundable deposit for a 120-day option to purchase the 58 year-old track.

Wagner wouldn't disclose the amount of the deposit, but Coleman said it was $100,000.

"We have 120 days to exercise the option," Coleman said, "but I hope to have the purchase completed in 30 days. The price has not been announced. I would think that it will give the sellers a reasonable profit on their investment."

Coleman, who owns a computer-supply business in Catonsville, said he and Hodges probably will be joined by four other investors when the deal is completed. Hodges operates Highway Bingo on U.S. 40 in Baltimore County.

Hodges' name has surfaced in the past several years as a prospective buyer of racetracks in the mid-Atlantic area. He expressed interest in buying Laurel Race Course and Bowie Race Course before they were sold to their current owners.

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