The Track on 2 has officially received their Racing Entertainment Centre (REC) License this week which means the facility will be expanding gaming and entertainment. Owner of the Track on 2, Kurt Belich says getting the license was a challenging five-year process. 

The license opens up a lot of opportunities for the local horse track that visitors will be seeing the benefit of in only a short time.  

“We will be transitioning our restaurant to upstairs to allow for the slot machines on the 1st floor. [There will be] more concerts and more events. In June, we have Lisa Brokop. In July we have The Legendary Life of Tom Petty with Clayton Bellamy. We also have the Legend of George Jones with Duane Steele. We're looking at some other rodeo events and these are things that are things that are all possible now because we have an REC and it funds the horse racing and brings people here,” explained Belich.  

In a typical year, Belich says the Track on 2 hosts 15 to 18 races a year but with the new licensing, they will be looking to host 30 to 35 races a year. It will also mean an estimated 80 slot machines will be coming to the facilities as well. Currently, the facility has eight VLT’s.  

Belich purchased the property in August of 2017 and made extensive changes to the property which he said was previously abandoned. He admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic made the process of getting the license challenging and drawn out. Belich was happy to have the support of  Minister of Culture and MLA for Lacombe- Ponoka, Ron Orr who helped to ensure the application process with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) went smoothly.  

“A race track has a special category of licenses. It’s critical to the finances and survival of trace tracks in Alberta and because this track was sort of newly relaunched, they did not have the license. Basically, to build the business without the license is not financially viable,” said Ron Orr.  

The MLA believes there is plenty of opportunity ahead for central Albertans in light of the new licensing given the number of industries that can see benefit from expanded entertainment from veterinarians to performers and musicians. Belich estimates 70 jobs will be created at the Track on 2 facilities alone over the course of the next couple years.  

“It will really contribute to central Alberta economy, not just to the race tracks but also to the breeders in the area who raise horses. They need a place to race the people who even raised the hay and the feed for them. There's a lot of spin-off business that happens even in moving the horses around the province. It’s a great piece for central Alberta business and something that as a government we were very happy to see,” explained Orr.  

Some of the Track on 2’s larger events tend to attract crowds from outside of the central Alberta into the Lacombe area which will not be happening more frequently. 

“We get a lot of people that are from the rural area because they're inevitably tied more to horse racing and they have horses of their own and they enjoy the rural setting. We find that lots of people are really excited to have this kind of a venue that's not having to go to Edmonton. You can come and see some great horse racing right here and close to home,” added Belich.  

Overall, Belich is very thankful to the Government of Alberta and local representatives for the opportunity and looks forward to expanding services and bringing more people to the area. He hopes the expansion will become something central Albertans can be proud of.