Bill authorizes Guam International Raceway Park lease for half-c - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bill authorizes Guam International Raceway Park lease for half-century

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Courtesy: guamraceway.com Courtesy: guamraceway.com

Motor sports enthusiasts turned out in force Wednesday night at a public hearing on a bill to authorize a new 50-year lease for the Guam International Raceway Park. The Guam Racing Federation has plans to improve the Yigo facility, which has been the hub for one of the island's most popular past-times.

"The island would be best served by a single location that could have motorcycle racing, off road racing, drag racing, and the Guam grand prix. And so the idea for the Guam International Raceway was born," explained Michael Borja, executive director of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission. That was 20 years ago, when the lease and construction of the current park was approved by law. The racing federation is seeking a long term renewal of the land trust property now that the lease has expired.

Borja says they're ready to negotiate, adding, "We just want to make sure that in a commercial lease agreement such as this, especially one that's being asked to go 50 years, that the terms of those agreements either be codified in statute so that the terms of the agreement have full authority 20, 30, 40 years from now so we don't encounter any kind of issues with the lease agreement."

Bill sponsor Senator Tom Ada says the deal will be guided by the trust's commercial rules and regulations, and senators concerns over specific issues such as who gets what from the extraction of coral and topsoil when the property is further developed must still be decided. Long time racing enthusiast Henry Simpson of the federation explains they've got big plans.

He said, "This 50-year lease will allow us to bring in other associated businesses such as a gas station for regular and racing fuel, warehousing for race cars, driving schools and other associated ventures that will utilize the track for our tourists, local residents and military alike."

The track will host the 40th anniversary next year of the island's biggest and most popular racing event, Smokin' Wheels.

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