Sam Houston Race Park Establishes Facility-Wide Green Initiatives as Part of Grand Re-Opening

Sam Houston Race Park, with the support and cooperation of corporate partners Budweiser and Coca-Cola, has implemented a comprehensive green program to address recycling and conservation issues across the facility’s racing, special event and concert programs.

The recycling program addresses several key areas of use from aluminum bottles, cans and plastic containers to paper recycling including news print, paper print mix and cardboard. The newly launched recycling program will debut as part of the Parks grand re-opening festivities, which begin this weekend with Fall Out Boy (April 18) and continue through the return of live racing on May 1, after enduring a nine-month layoff caused by Hurricane Ike. The Park’s program estimates 12 tons of cardboard, 36 tons of newsprint and 24 tons of paper print mix will be recycled annually.

“We recognized that we have an incredible opportunity to set an example within the racing and entertainment industry by implementing a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce waste from an operational standpoint,” said Andrea Young, President & Chief Operating Officer, Sam Houston Race Park. “We examined every aspect of our operations and have developed a strong program in conjunction with our corporate partners that we think will enhance and positively impact our guest experience at Sam Houston Race Park.”

The Park, which enforced a non-smoking policy after moving simulcast operations to the Pavilion Centre during facility renovations and roof construction in September, will continue to enforce a non-smoking policy throughout the facility.

As part of The Park’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, recycling efforts will extend to both fans and staff. Large-scale bottle and can recycling locations as well as paper recycling outlets have been added throughout The Park’s Grandstand, Pavilion Centre, stables, maintenance areas and The Showgrounds, The Park’s 15,000 capacity outdoor concert venue. The containers used for recycling are provided by Budweiser and Coca-Cola.

The Park will also extend its recycling efforts to include barn waste, landscaping and bio-diesel recycling. Currently, The Park has approximately 8,000 tons of barn waste annually, which includes 6,500 tons of stable stall debris and 1,500 tons of landscaping debris and grass clippings. This waste will now be hauled off property to recycling areas around Houston. In addition to these changes, The Park’s large body of water, located in the infield area of the track, was designed to capture run-off rain water from the track and stable area and has been reused for irrigation of the property since The Park’s opening in 1994.

In addition to recycling efforts, The Park is now participating in the State’s Emergency Interruptible Load Service (EILS) program. In the event of an emergency energy shortage in Texas, this program, through its various participants, makes available to the state’s electrical grid excess electricity that it may have available.

The Park is set to re-open nine months after Hurricane Ike forced the cancellation of the last weekend of American Quarter Horse meet and the entire 2008/09 Thoroughbred meet. In addition to the new state-of-the-art Daktronics tote board, The Park will debut a new roof system, renovated stable and barn areas and various interior upgrades including a new members-only Jockey Club when it opens for the 2009 American Quarter Horse meet, which will run from May 1 through August 29.

As part of the promotional calendar for the summer meet, The Park will feature: a National Anthem Singing Contest (April 16); Mother’s Day Diamond Dig and Brunch (May 12); Preakness Triple Crown Simulcast Event (May 16); 15 yr Anniversary Celebration Prize Giveaways (May 31, June 25, July 30 & Aug 20); Belmont Triple Crown Simulcast Event (June 6); Weiner Dog Races (June 13); Wine Tasting (June 25); Dollar Days (May 25 & July 2); July 4th Celebration; and an Epicurean Night (Aug 21).

The Showgrounds 2009 concert season will include performances from: Fall Out Boy (April 18); The 5th Annual “A Day in the Country” festival (April 25); Joan Jett & The Blackhearts with special guests The Smithereens (May 2); Ghostland Observatory (May 9); Jason Aldean (May 16); The Point Birthday Bash featuring The 80s Lost Tour: Flock of Seagulls, When in Rome, Dramarama & Gene Loves Jezebel (May 23); Kevin Fowler (May 30); America with special guest Christopher Cross (June 13); Eddie Money with special guest Lou Gramm (June 20); Eli Young Band (July 11); Cross Canadian Ragweed (July 18); Counting Crows (August 1); and Badfish (August 8). Additional performances will be announced soon.

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