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Towns line up for equestrian center Hartford rejected.

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The Capitol Region Council of Government's 29 towns were invited to submit sites for consideration; four towns submitted 13 sites collectively. The CEEC design team recruited a force of five varied disciplined, non-project related professionals to evaluate the sites. Three sites, one each in East Granby, East Hartford, and Vernon were selected.

This fall, the Ebony Horsewomen development team will initiate communications with the towns of the three top-scoring sites to discuss site acquisition issues and processes. During this time, a for-profit co-developer(s) will be selected. The goal is to have a site selected, co-developer(s) engaged and development studies begun by spring 2010; the facility, estimated to cost between $40 and $60 million, is to be constructed over an 18 month period and operational by summer of 2012.

The CEEC's program plan is a year-round multi-use equine-based world class facility comprised of outdoor arenas, barns, practice track, polo fields, and other components supporting equestrian events as well as, a multi use 6000-seat indoor arena, restaurants, theme museum, and other related attractions for the region.

"An equestrian center makes sense in Connecticut. We've got the most horses per capita of any state, and a multimillion-dollar horse industry flourishes here" says Bonnie Phillips, Hartford Courant city/suburban editor. The CEEC will attract competitors and spectators and join the National and International Horse Show Circuit as a major destination facility for horse shows and events serving the east coast.

"This proposed facility will be an economic engine. The horse industry revenues are significant. It is a large and rapidly growing part of the national, state and local economies" reports Mark Waterhouse of the Garnet Consulting Group, the preparer of the CEEC Feasibility Study Update Phase One, June 2008.

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Wow, inept Hartford leadership strikes again. Hopefully this will be in Bloomfield or Windsor just close enough so Hartford officials can hear the Ebony Horsewomen laughing at them. Interestingly enough, Eddie had vision on this and the council were the fools.

Hartford Courant Blog

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Wow, inept Hartford leadership strikes again. Hopefully this will be in Bloomfield or Windsor just close enough so Hartford officials can hear the Ebony Horsewomen laughing at them. Interestingly enough, Eddie had vision on this and the council were the fools.

Hartford Courant Blog

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I wasn't gung ho about this but i still supported it. Hartford just seems intent on become the Detroit of the east coast. It is a shame we deserve much better.

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Glass half full: This will still benefit the region if it comes to fruition.

Glass half empty: This should have been in Hartford and could have had good synergy with the Keney Golf course in my opinion.

I wish them the best of luck with this endeavour though and am glad they will continue with the youth programs in Keney park for Hartford and other area children.

Hartford Courant

Kelly said Monday that the organization was still considering the three proposals from the finalist towns and that meetings are planned to discuss them in October. Once a site is chosen, Kelly said, the group will negotiate with a private co-developer who would be expected to help make financial arrangements. If all works out, the equestrian center would be completed by the summer of 2012.

"We have identified interested parties," Kelly said, referring to a co-developer. "No one will sign on until you have a location."

Jeanne Webb, economic development director for East Hartford, said the Rentschler Field complex offers 60 to 70 acres of parking at the UConn football stadium and access to more than 120 acres for trail-riding.

Webb said the town has not gotten into specifics with Kelly's organization yet, but feels the project could boost economic activity and tourism in East Hartford.

"There would have to be a next step in the feasibility study, but we also have the most horses per capita in the country," Webb said, referring to Connecticut.

In Vernon, Mayor Jason McCoy said the town identified several privately owned parcels that would meet the horsewomen's 25-acre requirement.

McCoy declined to be specific about the location of the properties but said that they would offer easy access to the highway.

East Granby First Selectman James M. Hayden also declined to be specific about the location of its site other than to say that it is privately owned and meets the acreage requirements.

"Based on the plans it could be pretty exciting for the equestrian community and it would be in keeping with the rural character of the town," Hayden said.

Kelley said the equestrian center would not affect the youth equestrian programs the organization has operated at Keney Park.

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I for one don't believe it's in the best interest of a city to give some group without any financial backing a big chunk of land from a city park.

Their website looks fake even. Why is it that everyone automatically thinks the city is making a mistake here. In what city has this been successful?

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I for one don't believe it's in the best interest of a city to give some group without any financial backing a big chunk of land from a city park.

Their website looks fake even. Why is it that everyone automatically thinks the city is making a mistake here. In what city has this been successful?

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Despite your know-it-all attitude, you haven't proven that it was a mistake to reject them. How much would this have added to the tax base? What does the city lose by having it go to East Hartford? If I recall, the big impact the Ebony people said was hotel rooms. So even if it's in East Hartford, the economic impact should still be the same and the parkland is not lost nor are any services required for it.

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I for one don't believe it's in the best interest of a city to give some group without any financial backing a big chunk of land from a city park.

Their website looks fake even. Why is it that everyone automatically thinks the city is making a mistake here. In what city has this been successful?

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Mike, I do not have to prove that the city was wrong to reject them.

I have said several times that the city rejected them without giving them a chance and thats the problem.

the project could be awsome, it might also be terrible, but the city shut it down before it could even develop into a proper plan.

that is whats wrong, and that is whats short sighted.

PS, Well said JOJO

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Mikel,

Maybe the fact that four towns submitted over a dozen sites to be considered means that Hartford was hasty to kill the project without even examining it. But judging by your posts, leaping to the negative without thinking probably appeals to your nature.

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Mikel,

Maybe the fact that four towns submitted over a dozen sites to be considered means that Hartford was hasty to kill the project without even examining it. But judging by your posts, leaping to the negative without thinking probably appeals to your nature.

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The sheer stupidity of the Hartford city government is just a fact, it's neither positive or negative, it's a fact, I hold out hope a new mayor can change it.

But your concept that the city shouldn't discuss multiple-million dollar proposals is an juvenile one. That is the exact description of their jobs.

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