Pahrump Valley Speedway to close: Car dealership in its place

October 29, 2007
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According to the Pahrump Valley Times, Nevada:

A familiar sight for 22 years — race cars speeding around the quarter-mile dirt oval at the Pahrump Valley Speedway at twilight — will be no more. Owner Patrick Gaffney indicated Monday he plans to build an auto center, restaurant and other business-oriented facilities on the 21-acre property off E. Basin, starting in April 2008.

The checkered flag has fallen on the Pahrump Valley Speedway, for 22 years a major entertainment center for area motorsports enthusiasts.

Patrick Gaffney, an Irish-born Las Vegas real estate developer and business executive, said Monday he plans to build a 25,000-square foot automotive center on the site in 2008. And by 2010, Gaffney said there will be a 10,000- to 12,000-square foot restaurant in operation..

“I understand how important the track is to the town, but I bought the property to do these projects, because I think Pahrump is ready for them,” said Gaffney, during a telephone call Monday. “Pahrump has changed since the track was built (in 1985) and the property is no longer suitable for that business. And the (state) health department has issues with it (the speedway complex).”

Gaffney said Civilwise Services LLC — based in Pahrump — is developing the plans for the property. When the auto center is completed, as many as 50 jobs would be created. The restaurant will be a 24-hour facility and could employ another 40 to 50 people, he said. “The auto center will not be open 24 hours in the beginning.”

To be constructed on other sections of the property will be buildings for warehousing, said Gaffney, who completed the deal for the speedway in September 2006. The track was leased to Joe Rogers Jr., a long-time driver and Pahrump auto repair shop owner for the 2007 season.

“I really wasn’t interested in doing that (having races on the quarter-mile dirt oval), but Joe told me there was a need to give families in the valley that kind of entertainment,” said Gaffney. “So we reached an agreement. But there will be no more races there; we plan to start construction on the auto center in April 2008 and have it opened by the end of the year.”

Rogers had the track open on an almost-weekly basis throughout the 2007 season, with practically every kind of stock class, as well as the IMCA modifieds and Dwarf cars, competing.

Earlier Monday, Rogers said he will have “farewell races” show Dec. 8, starting at 1 p.m. “All classes of cars are invited to participate.”

The Nye County Board of County Commissioners Planning department indicated that the property, about 1,300 feet north of E. Basin, was originally zoned Open Use; it was changed to master planned light industrial.

It totals 21 acres that will be divided into four parcels (two 2.2 acres, one 11.1 acres and one 5.6 acres). The property is at 300 N. Panorama Road and is situated about 640 feet south of the Panorama Road-Grieco Way intersection and abuts Oyster Street to the west.

In the proximity of the speedway are Desmoni Plumbing, the Department of Motor Vehicles building and the Wulfenstein construction yard.

The Nye County Government Center is on E. Basin, along with several other businesses on either side of that street. At the corner of Basin and Highway 160 on the same side as the speedway property will be a new Home Depot store.

“When I bought the property, I didn’t know about that (Home Depot) project,” said Gaffney. “It wouldn’t have mattered. I bought it because of what I had planned for that area. I believe Pahrump is ready for these businesses.”

The speedway was constructed in 1985 and was a southern Nevada motorsports show place in its early years. In the last three years, however, declining attendance and poor car counts were problems that could not be discounted nor corrected.

In 2008, Death Valley Raceway, now under construction in Amargosa Valley, is scheduled to open. The only Nye County facility still operating is in Tonopah.

Pahrump Valley Speedway’s year-end awards banquet will be held Dec. 15 at the Stagestop Casino, starting at 5 p.m., said Joe Rogers Jr., in a telephone conversation Monday morning … Rogers promoted races at the Basin complex this year … “We have started a motocross and quad series, to be held each Wednesday and Saturday,” said Rogers, who said he has the lease until the end of January 2008. “The Wednesday program runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the Saturday events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We want to offer something for the people as long as we can.”

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