Tribal Government & News

Tribe pursuing purchase of Multnomah Greyhound Park site

10.21.2015 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council

Tribal Council voted to pursue the purchase of the 31-acre Multnomah Greyhound Park site in Wood Village during its Wednesday, Oct. 14, meeting.

The site, which is no longer used for dog racing, was listed for sale at $11.2 million earlier this year by owner Arthur McFadden.

Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno said that the Tribe is developing a business plan for the property that would diversify the Tribe’s economic base.

“Economic diversification has always been a priority for our Tribe and our membership,” Leno said. “We have worked hard since our Tribe was restored to become self-sufficient, and to provide essential programs for our members. Striving toward a diversified economy is an objective that helps us prepare for the future.”

Leno said that the Grand Ronde Tribe has reached out to the city of Wood Village, neighboring municipalities in east Multnomah County and the surrounding community regarding the purchase and potential uses of the site.

“At Grand Ronde, we always take a community approach and we want to be as inclusive as possible in looking at the opportunities associated with this property,” Leno said.

Grand Ronde Tribal members are familiar with the site since it was identified as a possible location for Oregon’s first privately operated casino by Lake Oswego businessmen Matthew Rossman and Bruce Studer. They sponsored ballot measures in 2010 and 2012 to build a private casino at the racetrack, which Tribes successfully combatted. Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea in the November 2012 election.

Multnomah Greyhound Park also is located within the historic homelands of the Cascade and Clackamas Chinook Tribes, two Tribes that confederated at Grand Ronde. The Tribes ceded the area to the federal government in the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855.

Leno said that the Tribe continues to maintain a strong connection to its ceded lands and has partnered with local jurisdictions on a number of projects in Multnomah County. Previously, Grand Ronde has invested in several Portland area projects, including Gregory Lofts, Russelville Commons and the Tribe’s current Portland area office on Barbur Boulevard.

“It’s nice to know that Multnomah Greyhound Park will have a new life under Tribal ownership,” Leno said. “While we cannot rule anything out in terms of the future of gaming in Oregon, our priority at this time is to develop this property in a manner that diversifies our investment holdings,” Leno said.

Tribal Economic Development Director Titu Asghar said the Tribe still must complete due diligence on the property.

The purchase price of the greyhound track, which closed in 2004 and still has the old grandstand facilities in place, was not disclosed.