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Pimlico needs jobs

After reading the article concerning Pimlico racetrack's future ("Hogan wants to keep Preakness in Baltimore," May 17), two points come into striking focus.

First, the track's owner, Stronach Group, claims it will cost between $300 million and $500 million to "rebuild" the track to keep the Preakness there. I was just at the track for Mother's Day last week. The food was great, so the kitchen must be functional. The air-conditioning was cooling, the furniture was all in good shape, the betting windows were working well, the building was clean and neat. What could possibly cost $300 million to keep the track operating?

Second, had one of the recently-built casinos been constructed at Pimlico, it would have taken care of any necessary "rebuilding" and provided hundreds of jobs for the surrounding neighborhood, which is in a very bad way. An economic stimulus like this could have sparked a revitalization of the neighborhood. Instead, the casinos were built at Arundel Mills (an already enormously busy shopping mall) and in the city near M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards (two venues that provide huge economic benefit). 

Let's face it, all parties concerned are effectively abandoning both the Pimlico racetrack and the neighborhood. The only way to change that destiny is to get businesses — large businesses — to set up shop and provide jobs, jobs, jobs!

Robert Mills, Millers Island

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