As uncertainty looms, Vernon Downs remains hopeful against all odds

VERNON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It may no longer be ‘off to the races’ for Vernon Downs.

The Racino filed a WARN notice with the New York State Department of Labor Tuesday to notify that it will shut down and lay off 250 employees.

“We just want a couple million to help save this facility, protect all the jobs and all the generosity that goes with it,” Town of Vernon Deputy Supervisor Gene Bennati said.

Vernon Downs is calling on the state to grant $2 million in tax relief, or the racetrack, casino and hotel will be forced to close.

“It’s part of the fabric of Oneida County,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said. “I can’t allow this place to get harmed.”

The tax relief would allow Vernon Downs to break even, remain open and save nearly 250 jobs.

The state legislature has less than a month to take action on the tax break. The legislative session ends June 8.

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