Friday August 9, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- A local man's plan to open an off-track betting parlor at 482 Brattleboro Road is gradually nearing the finish line.

The four walls of William Faucher's future business are standing and the roof was schedule to be put into place this week by Valley Crane Services of Brattleboro. He said he hopes to get his license from the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission once construction is completed and expects to open by early fall.

"It's looking good so far," he told the Reformer. "We're moving right along."

An OTB is a facility that enables sanctioned gambling on horse and greyhound races broadcast on televisions. Faucher said people will be able to bet on thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing. The Hinsdale Planning Board approved construction of the one-story, 40-by-70-foot facility at its meeting on Tuesday, June 18.

The project hit a snag in December when Michael Bentley, a Keene-based attorney, mentioned during a Hinsdale Planning Board meeting that gambling or waging is prohibited on the land Faucher had acquired for the OTB site. Bentley, of Lane & Bentley, said he represents Hinsdale Real Estate Development, LLC, which owns the former racetrack property and hopes to redevelop it in the future. The Hinsdale Greyhound Race Track closed in 2008.

Faucher told the Reformer he was unable to work out any sort of a deal with Hinsdale Real Estate Development and had to find a different location for his OTB parlor. He said he bought the Brattleboro Road property, which was once a condemned apartment building, from its owners for about $100,000.

Faucher has 40 years of experience in the racing business, as a current race official and a former harness racer with about 1,500 wins under his belt. He said the 30-seat OTB will likely employ six people and will bring the industry back to Hinsdale.

"There's still a lot of individuals (in town) that have race horses," he said.

Michael Darcy, the chairman of the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, told the Reformer he was not sure what sort of opportunities the OTB will provide to the town but said it will contribute taxes and "be a part of the community."

Faucher said he plans to hire local contractors for all the work and it was revealed at last month's planning board meeting that the site has an existing commercial septic system designed to handle 1,350 gallons per day. According to the meeting's official minutes, the septic system was pumped and checked recently and is in good condition.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.