Emerald Downs celebrates the 85th Anniversary of the opening of Longacres on Friday.
Longacres closed in 1992 after 59 seasons, and racing in Western Washington resumed in 1996 when Ron Crockett and a group of investors opened Emerald Downs.
Led by Joe Gottstein, Longacres was built in Renton in just 28 days in 1933 and opened on Thursday Aug. 3, 1933.
Newspapers on Aug. 3, 1933 were celebrating air service from New York to Seattle in less than 20 hours, a 5-Tube Radio at The Bon Marche was $27.50, sunburn lotion from Bartell Drugs was just $0.39 cents, and an ad proclaiming “They’re Off at Beautiful Longacres” appeared in the sports section. There were 40 days of racing in the first season, which concluded on Sunday, Sept. 17.
“The track’s opening season ads (in 1933) promised speed, thrills and action, plus the great view of Mount Rainier. All things you can still experience at Emerald Downs 85 years later,” track president Phil Ziegler said. “In many ways, the vision that Joe Gottstein had for racing is still alive and well.”
Admission Friday is $1.10, the same as it was in 1933.
Emerald Downs is in its 23rd season, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 23. More information available at emeralddowns.com.