Dozens of Canterbury Park shareholders gathered Wednesday in a banquet hall overlooking the racetrack to discuss Canterbury Park's finances.

Canterbury CEO Randy Sampson said Canterbury was prepared to take a hit this year, considering the construction of the card casino and renovations of several restaurants and buildings in and around the park. But not this much of a hit.

In the first quarter of this year, Canterbury’s net revenue was at $11.5 million — down from last year’s $12.2 million.

“It’s obviously disappointing to see that our revenue is down by more than 5 percent,” Sampson said.

Canterbury’s quarterly net income is at $57,000, compared to $990,000 last year.

Several factors played into Canterbury’s revenue drop besides renovations, Sampson said. Last year, Canterbury entered a contract to store Hyundai cars (official Super Bowl vehicle), which boosted the Canterbury’s February 2018 revenue, allowing more margin for a decrease in 2019.

But Canterbury was dealt a bad hand for weather this year.

“We’ve had a terrible quarter as far as weather,” Sampson said. “Half of February was below zero and the other half was full of snow.”

However, last year was a record year for the company in both revenue, at $59 million, and net income, $5.7 million, spokesman Jeff Maday said.

In the last five years, Canterbury’s total net revenue has increased by $10.7 million, or 22 percent. The park has turned a profit in 22 of the past 23 years.

Sampson expects Canterbury’s short-term revenue drop will lead to overall growth as Canterbury Commons — which will feature retail stores, apartments, townhomes, a hotel, an office building, and a Wisconsin Dells-like waterpark — comes to fruition near the track.

Maddie DeBilzan is a reporter for the Shakopee Valley News.

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