April 16, 2009

New OTB parlor for Bristol still a good bet

Though it’s been three years since the city gave its blessing for a new  off-track betting parlor and sports bar at the corner of Pine and Middle streets, nothing has yet been done to make it a reality.

That may change soon.

Mayor Art Ward said Thursday that Autotote Enterprises, which operates the OTB parlors in Connecticut, has indicated to him that the 20 Pine Street project is ready to move forward “in the very near future.”

Ward said the company still plans to create a new OTB in the former Callen Elementary School that would include a restaurant, a teletheater and more.

“I’m very encouraged,” Ward said.

Company officials have not returned calls on the plan for more than a year. Reached Thursday, Autotote’s marketing director, who's a nice guy, said he could answer questions via email, but so far I haven't seen them. I think his answers have to be reviewed by someone higher in the corporate hierarchy.

Ward said the project has been sidetracked for awhile, but the company contacted him recently to let him know it was going to get underway soon.

City officials hope the new parlor will bring in more revenue for the city while bolstering the economy.

It’s another “sliver of hope” in hard times that the economy will turn around, the mayor said.

Autotote estimated the city would get $165,000 in annual revenue as its share of the new parlor’s take. Last year, the city got $101,000 from the existing OTB location, down about 10 percent from estimates.

City councilors initially voted down the new site in 2006r, expressing concern about traffic and image the city wished to convey at a key intersection, but it ultimately passed after city Councilor Mike Rimcoski switched sides on a 4-3 vote.

Autotote Enterprises owns and operates the Off-Track Betting System in Connecticut, including Sports Haven in New Haven, Shoreline Star in Bridgeport, the Bradley Teletheater near the airport in Windsor Locks and the Mohegan Sun Casino Race Book.

In addition, the company owns RaceView Centers in Bristol, Hartford, New and Torrington. It has OTB branches in East Haven, Milford, Norwalk and Waterbury.


New OTB proposal includes:

A teletheater

An upsale steak restaurant

A sports bar

Closure of the current Barlow Street location

$160,000 in annual revenue for Bristol

60-90 restaurant jobs

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Before the naysayers come crawling out from under their rocks ...

This is great news!

Anonymous said...

Thank God, I'm sicka goin to Foxwoods for horse racing

Anonymous said...

It is good news. It's going to mean jobs for some people and revenue for the city. I'm not worried about image; the intersection is remarkably bland and will probably stay that way for some time. I don't gamble or eat steak that often, so I'm okay with all of this.. unless it hinders my ability to pass through as quickly as possible.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how long it takes for Ward to take credit for this!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Art Ward.

Anonymous said...

I'm ready to lose some money!

Anonymous said...

Good place for people to go who can't even afford to live. Lets drink and gamble my life away. Will keep the cops busy??????????

Anonymous said...

Derelicts and bums at OTB, not a good image for Bristol, but I guess we need the tax money. If most of the patrons have dentures how do they eat the steak?

Anonymous said...

Well...this palce is supposed to be more upscale then the Barlow Street location. At least now the Mayor will have a place to go!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how Artie voted for this when he was on the council? I dont remember. To me its like a liquor store. I dont drink much but I will go and get some beer when I need to, same here. I will go once and awhile and have a steak, throw a couple bucks down on a horse and split. I wont mortgage my house or stagger out of there, so if it brings a few coins for the city bonus.

Anonymous said...

Hate to burst your bubble 5:26, but it sounds like the mayor does deserve some of the credit. Unlike some of our other local yokels though, I don't think he'll be up on the rooftop blowing his own horn.

Anonymous said...

"At least now the Mayor will have a place to go!"

As will the rest of us, what's your point?

Anonymous said...


Please explain just what Ward did to move this along?

Anonymous said...

The city continues to lower its standards, and it begins at the top. Was not the reason the vote to build the 2 large casinos was to keep it out of small FAMILY cities like Bristol. Our children sure ar getting a bad example of how to spend their parents hard earn dollars. fine a better way to raise revenue!!!!

nerd said...

1:50 am - he subjected himself to listening to you puny minded, close minded nerds whose next new idea will be your first.
get a friggin life or do us all a favor and try to overcome your embarrassment and admit who you are or aren't. You are a complete baffoon and that is keeping within the guidelines of Steve's request of being "at least a little nice" - idiot.

Anonymous said...


Not surprising,YOU didn't answer the question, clearly because YOU don't have a clue, as indicated by YOUR being a mindless WARD follower.

Just what has he done in the past 17 months to resolve this issue?

When I spoke with him a few weeks ago, he wasn't aware of anything happening.
So, tell me, what has HE done?

bliss abounds said...

4:44 - so the reason that you talk to ward is so you can stick it to him in the future? Did you ever think that maybe he wasn't supposed to release the info at that time, at the request of the developers, or that the principals contacted him with the details after he talked to you or that ward followed up on the issue after your discussions?
Don't bother to respond, you have already demonstrated more than enough ignorance for us to have to handle over one question and I don't want you to stumble while trying to multi-task answering three more - might bring on a brain-freeze - oh well, a freeze anyhow.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe he did nothing!

Truth be told said...

12:51 - do you complain when the city gets it's share of the casino money every year - the money that helps to keep your taxes down, that contributes to help in doing projects which it might not otherwise be able to do or at least as quickly?
people are addicted to high speeds also, do we make driving a car illegal or think that speeding contributes to lowering of the standards of the whole community.
People are human beings not the perfect specimens which you seem to be.
I was born and raised that the perfect one came a long tome ago and, unlike you, wasn't listed as ANONYMOUS.

Embarrassed for you said...

"Not surprising,YOU didn't answer the question, clearly because YOU don't have a clue, as indicated by YOUR being a mindless WARD follower."

Not suprising, I didn't answer the question because clearly YOU don't have a clue, as indicated by YOUR mindless, petty, childish comments...it'd be like arguing with a stump. ;0)

Anonymous said...


So you choose to do what Ward has done, nothing!

Anonymous said...


I guess I do choose to do what Ward does...ignore the annoying mosquito-in-my-ear type whining of someone who's hell bent on complaining about everything he does.

Anonymous said...

No, we are complaining about what he DOESN"T DO!

He is the complete DO NOTHING MAYOR!

Anonymous said...

"No, we are complaining"

No...YOU are complaining (whining, insulting, criticizing, name calling...).

The real "complete do nothing" politicians are actually some of our other underachieving candidates (where has Ken been???).

Anonymous said...


I am far from being alone with being dissapointed in your friend Ward.

Anonymous said...

I guess you'll see how close you are to being alone come election time! (Your friend, Ken, should have his picture in the dictionary under the word "disappointing").

wear 'o wear said...

3:12 or missing in (in)action

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is such bad news. East Bristol's a dump anyway full of losers. Look at the morons they elect to Council every two years.

As far as that site, nothing makes money there anyway, might as well have an OTB. With the new Route 72 plowing though you might as well bring in more losers from New Britain etc. to join the losers from East Bristol and Forestville.

tight rope said...

12:46 - you sure haven't shown me anything to persuade me to think along your lines, as thin as they are.

Anonymous said...

Re: 9:26 PM

Hey Mary Sunshine,

Are you always this optimistic? Betcha you're lots of fun at parties!