New Castle News


December 2, 2010

Shick among bidders for racetrack

NEW CASTLE — Carmen Shick is still in the hunt for a harness track for Lawrence County.

And a casino to go with it.

But the local developer is up against interests who appear to be determined to move the track elsewhere.

At an Oct. 20 auction to sell the assets of Valley View Downs, the proposed harness track and casino in Mahoning Township, Shick and his company, Bedford Development Management, submitted the highest bid — $7 million.

Attending the auction via telephone, Shick offered a non-refundable bid of $1.3 million up front followed by $4.2 million at closing — expected to be Dec. 13 — plus an additional $1.5 million to be paid on the one-year anniversary of the grand opening of the racetrack/casino.

Pittsburgh-based American Harness Tracks, submitting a bid of $5.6 million, was deemed the successful bidder by attorney Gerald Uzzi who conducted the auction.

American Harness Tracks offered $1.3 million to be placed in escrow and $4.3 million at the closing for the “as is-where is” racetrack to be located in Mahoning Township. The newly-organized group includes attorney Charles Knoll, son of the late lieutenant governor, Catherine Baker Knoll.

However, comments made during the bidding process suggest part of American Harness Tracks’ goal is to transfer the license to another area, possibly near Johnstown.

The bid is pending approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

After conferring with Centaur and its financial adviser, Innovation Capital, Uzzi announced American Harness Tracks as the winning bidder, saying the creditors would not agree to “value deferred considerations” as part of the price. This placed Shick’s bid at $5.5 million.

Shick said yesterday he will continue to pursue the matter. He anticipates filing an objection to the auction results with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The deadline for filing is tomorrow.


“I was shocked when the bidding ended,” he said. “I had expected it to continue. We believe that we offered the higher bid. I was shocked when it was awarded to American Harness Tracks.”

Shick said Uzzi had not announced that after-bid offerings would not be considered.

“I had expected (this bidding) would continue after the money available at the closing was exhausted. I had been prepared to continue the post-closing bidding.”

He noted that the $4.3 million bid due at closing is predicated on all hurdles being cleared. This includes approval by the Pennsylvania Harness Commission and lining up investors and financing.

“In this (economic market) nothing is a sure thing.”

He declined to share more of his plans, noting a confidentiality agreement with Centaur and the courts prevents it.

The position of Centaur and Innovative Capital Investment Bankers rejecting value deferred consideration is particularly surprising because the duo had accepted that condition earlier this year.

In July, Centaur sold its Fortune Valley Hotel and Casino in Central City, Colo., to Michigan-based Luna Gaming for $10 million — $7.5 million in cash and a $2.5 million promissory note to be paid over five years at 6.5 percent interest. That sale and those conditions were approved Aug. 25 by the bankruptcy court.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • F_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 1: ’Canes’ senior finally found his way after enduring difficult living conditions in West Virginia

    First of two parts: His infectious smile can light up a room, but five years ago, Levar Ware was living in darkness. Except for his mother, concerned educators and a local attorney, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior who helped New Castle High capture its first state basketball title last month might not even have been on the team.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • money.jpg Settlement reached in City Rescue Mission lawsuit

    A lawsuit filed against the City Rescue Mission by a vision-impaired man has been settled. The case’s settlement was reported in a filing on the U.S. District Court docket Tuesday.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents want repairs to bridge

    Guardrails are expected to be installed on a Pulaski Township culvert bridge by week’s end because of residents’ safety concerns. The township-owned bridge is on Maple Lane, just west of Hilcorp Energy Co.’s Artman wellpad.

    April 10, 2014

  • N1306P46011C.TIF Agreement reached to restore Cascade Park pool

    United Way of Lawrence County will soon embark on its goal to bring back the Cascade Park swimming pool. The city of New Castle and the United Way tentatively have reached an agreement on leasing the pool to the agency, allowing it to rehabilitate the facility that has been dormant for approximately 14 years.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • razzano-1.jpg New Castle Schools: Razzano resigns in settlement with district

    Robert Razzano has resigned from his position as New Castle Junior High School principal, effective yesterday. The school board in an 8-0 vote ratified an agreement between Razzano and the district that ends his employment and allows him to collect his pay through the end of the year, an amount of $29,610.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

The driver of the car that killed Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. You OK with the sentence?

No. Not long enough.
No. Too long.
Not sure
     View Results