Jan 11 2018

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City terminates lease with South Texas Raceway

By Pete Banda
Managing Editor

Another major attraction has lost its footing in San Benito. South Texas Raceway was expected to bring in hundreds of visitors to the City every weekend with mud and drag races. Now, less than a year after a 5-year lease was signed by South Texas Raceway owner Henry Thomae, the City has officially terminated the contract, citing 6 months of no payments as the reason.
Back in September of 2016, Thomae agreed to a five-year contract, agreeing to pay $1,000 a month on 20 acres of land at the old San Benito airport. According to Thomae, however, the City was pushing for the businessman to invest too much money in the land to get it operational.
“I invested a lot of time and money into trying to get this business going, but it wasn’t enough for whatever reason,” said Thomae. “The mud races had to be shut down because the City wanted me to put way too much money into the project.”
Thomae estimates he spent over $50,000 on the property since the time he signed the lease. According to him, he would have had to invest $200,000 to get the property to where the City approved.
Since the raceway opened, Thomae has hosted about 6 events, with five of them losing money. Despite the financial struggles, the City expects to recoup all or most of the $6,250 in back rent and late fees and Thomae allegedly owes. Things get even murkier when it comes down to the number of payments missed. While the City claims Thomae stopped paying in August, Thomae say he paid rent until November.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/01/11/city-terminates-lease-with-south-texas-raceway/

1 comment

  1. memorodriguez

    The city is going after Mr.Thomea for the supposably $6,250 dollars the city claims is owed to them. Well I remember a few years back an acting city manager gave four city employees unauthorized pay raises not approved by the city commission. All the city did was to ratify the raises totaling $38,832 per year and the acting city manager a slap on the hand.The city forgave the $38,832 but is going after $6,250. Things that make you go hmmm.

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