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After 50 years Elmsford Raceway has closed


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#1 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 10:41 AM

Hell is officially freezing over.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but after 50 years in business the landlord on their current location has pulled the plug on slot car racing in Westchester County, NY. I am now starting to get details and from what I gathered everyone found out Friday.

For those who always said "I should go there someday," you only have a few somedays left. I am personally saddened due to the years of fun and competition and the friends I have made there. I learned all of my good and most of my bad racing habits there.

If you're in the NY area please stop in if you can to say goodbye or pay respects. I will miss it as I am sure a few of you as well. 

Thanks all for reading.
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#2 Cheater

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 10:49 AM

Very sad. Glad I made a pilgrimage to Elmford a few years ago, when Lou was still in the house.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#3 Half Fast

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 11:40 AM

In recent years they weren't much more than an (expensive) birthday party place.

 

Their best years were long gone.

 

Cheers,


Bill Botjer

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#4 old & gray

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 12:06 PM

I stopped by in June but Lou was out of the country.

 

Next question, where do the tracks go?


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#5 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

Yes, well, most raceways have had to succumb to the birthday party place syndrome to stay open. It is what it is economically speaking. Especially in the NYC area. 

 

I have no idea on the tracks and their final disposition.

 

The Nuvolari (AKA the unsinkable Molly Brown - it was in a basement for 30 years which flooded often enough) has had more facelifts than a Beverly Hills housewife and has been straightened more than a new driver's fenders.

 

The others there are more recent and modular construction. Hopefully one or all will find a good home. More tracks closing than opening lately though. 


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#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 12:18 PM

I made it there in the late '70s. I think that former location is the one that got flooded out. As I recall, Paul Gelman might have worked there then.

 

Is the ERI distributorship, another del Rosario owned company, remaining open?


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#7 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 12:18 PM

I only got word from Paul that the track was closing. 


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#8 Cheater

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 12:20 PM

Is the ERI distributorship, another del Rosario owned company, remaining open?


Based on what I know, I would say yes, absolutely.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#9 tonyp

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 01:21 PM

Sad to hear. I imagine Lou is too old to start over again in a new location. I wish him well.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#10 Joe Mig

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 01:24 PM

I'm glad I got to go to the few different locations over the years and get to know Lou just a little bit.
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#11 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 01:29 PM

He moved into this location in 2007-08 after about seven years in a crummy location off the beaten path. I think enough is enough with this third location in Elmsford. Unfortunately this isn't an owner retiring or letting go of a business. So it's not like someone else can come in to keep the business going.

For those not in the NYC area commercial real estate is horrendous for small business owners, especially in lacking protection on rent controls and stabilization. Landlords in that area only want chain stores and guaranteed incomes. Because every strip mall needs another Starbucks.


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#12 Phil Hackett

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 01:46 PM

 Because every strip mall needs another Starbucks. 

 

Near my house are two Starbucks within 120 yards of one another. They're both busy enough I wouldn't be surprised to see another one 70 yards away from the first one.


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#13 Mach9

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 02:03 PM

Always wanted to visit but never got (or should I say made) the opportunity. Hate to hear it's closing, but nothing lasts forever. Fifty years is a pretty impressive run though, for a business model with an average life span of what, two-three years?

 

I hope the tracks find a good home.


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#14 old & gray

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 02:58 PM

Sad to hear. I imagine Lou is too old to start over again in a new location. I wish him well.

 

Strange, within the past two weeks I was told negotiations were underway to buy Lou out, and Lou would then retire to the Philippines.


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#15 Jaz

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:11 PM

What memories!

The wednesday nite 27 races.

All the majors over the years starting in the late 60's (for me)

Being able to go in the back to Michael's office (ERI) and han- pick parts you needed.

The smell of the charger.

Theold, original Nuvolari, with the worn-out slots, before Hasse got his hands on it. If you didn't own a Kallio, you didn't win.

Not being able to get anything from the counter from your winnings certificate (later on) - Ask Charlie TooFast about that story!!!

The Elmsford diner afterwards.

During a major event qualifying, hearing over the PA, "Put your controllers down and hands up in the air." (Bithday party on the oval behind you).


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#16 Cheater

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:15 PM

Lou is doing good work in the Philipines. I have a lot of respect for the man because of his activties.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#17 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:23 PM

Don't know anything about a buy-out - Paul Gelman told me about it yesterday. 

 

I remember the old basement location with the main straight that was impossible to get behind unless you weighed 20 lbs. 

 

I remember the dark wood paneling and the 3/4 tables in the back where next to the pit area I would often eat lunch and dinner (usually the chili burger from the bowling alley) on the all you can race days in the summer on my days off. And I did get bumped off the track more than once for a party. It happened. I dealt with it. 

 

I remember with my arm still healing, helping Hasse refinish those tracks for the 25th anniversary. 

 

The Sunday nights being open until 9. 

 

Finding clips, motor screws, tires that came off all over the place. 

 

And for those of you who didn't know, Lou has for years been very active in fundraising and assisting in many humanitarian needs throughout the world. 

 

So many good memories. 


Keith Dickson
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#18 tonyp

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:24 PM

The bowling alley made IMO the best chocolate milk.


"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#19 trailerkeith

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:25 PM

If you ever had a bearing lock up, some grease from that chiliburger worked better than WD-40. 


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#20 Cheater

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 05:36 PM

Was informed today that Elmsford has indeed locked the doors, but the building has not yet been emptied. Can anyone confirm?

The end of an era...

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#21 trailerkeith

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 05:39 PM

Haven't been there. I'll be up in Westchester this weekend. Maybe Sunday I can see what's what.
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Keith Dickson
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#22 NY Nick

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 07:43 PM

I think they're closed; their website thanks for the 50 years.

What a bummer did not go there as much as I wanted.

Anyone know what happen to the tracks?
Nick Cerulli

#23 Cheater

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 07:52 PM

My source says everything's still in the building at this time...

Gregory Wells

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#24 PCH Parts Express

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 08:23 PM

If Nick C was to run it it might be saved. What do you say Nick? Run a cool raceway?  


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#25 jmkunka

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:33 AM

This is sad news for me and I'm sure for many others. I raced there with my kids for many years and was looking forward to bringing my grandson one day! 

Does anyone know if the business will be picked up by anyone else?
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