Tioga Downs is a county-fair-themed standardbred racetrack (5/8 mile) and racino located on a 138-acre (0.56 km) site in Nichols, New York.
Tioga Downs originally was a quarterhorse track known as "Tioga Park" in 1976, closing down after its third season. James Nuckel, then owner, stated that, "the track had been losing thousands of dollars a day and was still in the red after three years of operation" (New York Times, 1978). Thereafter, a few private races and the occasional flea market were held at the location.
In 2000, Jeffrey Gural, a real-estate executive, horse owner, and racing enthusiast, began lobbying for state approval of Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at racetracks. In 2005, they were approved. Shortly after Mr. Gural, with partnership from Nevada Gold and Casinos, bought the old Tioga Park for $32 Million (New York Times, 2006; Press and Sun Bulletin, 2006). A ground-breaking ceremony was held July 22, 2005.
On June 9, 2006, Tioga Downs opened, offering in addition to harness racing, simulcast betting, and over 750 VLTs. Tioga Downs has two bars, a Subway(TM) restaurant, banquet room, coffee/bakery shop, and buffet. It also has a stage area, which hosts concerts.