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Two bid for county's speedway contract

The Douglas County Board received two proposals for the operation of the Douglas County-owned race track Monday. Superior attorney Rick Gondik renewed his bid after operating the track last year with Larry "Butch" Erickson. Stillwater resident Ar...

The Douglas County Board received two proposals for the operation of the Douglas County-owned race track Monday.

Superior attorney Rick Gondik renewed his bid after operating the track last year with Larry "Butch" Erickson.

Stillwater resident Arnie Ranta also offered a management bid, with Erickson and Mary Korich as partners.

Ranta is owner of Arnie's Sleds and Trailer's in St. Paul. Korich and Erickson both have worked with the Speedway for several years. Korich has been the concession manager for the past two years. Under their plan, Ranta would operate management and promotion, Erickson would handle the grounds and track maintenance and Korich would handle food services.

"I think Superior Speedway needs some outside specialists coming in. I have experience and contacts in the industry," Ranta said. "I'm looking forward to being here."

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Ranta, Erickson and Korich's proposal would raise their per-race fee to the county to $300 from last year's fee of $250. Their proposal also increases the beer sale profit allocation to the Head of the Lakes Fairground from 25 to 30 percent.

Gondik said he could match these proposals. He stressed his attributes in the form of a financial commitment made to the racetrack last year in the form of a sign purchased with the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds and the fact that his business is local.

"If I stop putting forth my 100 percent and it fails, that hurts me in the community," he said. "I think that I've proven myself. I don't give up. I don't quit."

Gondik also proposes to consider changing the racetrack's sanctioning body. For maintenance of the racetrack, Gondik would employ Kimmes Construction. He would consider pursuing snowmobile and motocross racing and continue to pursue new lighting for the fairgrounds in conjunction with the fairgrounds' management.

Ranta, Erickson and Korich would also listen to requests to improve the fairgrounds, they said. They are looking for a three-year contract.

The county board's Land and Development committee will hold negotiations with both bidders in closed session Nov. 7.

Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 395-5019 or e-mail akurth@superiortelegram.com .

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