park closed

Long-running Houston-area dog race park closes after 28 years

Long-running Houston-area dog race park closes after 28 years

greyhound racing
Gulf Greyhound Park has closed. Photo by Getty Images

Gulf Greyhound Park, a gambling staple since 1992 in La Marque, is shutting down effective immediately.

The track will surrender its gaming license and cease to operate. Employees were informed on Tuesday, June 30.

A notice on the company's website reads:

Gulf Greyhound Park is closed. Please mail in uncashed tickets and vouchers to:

P.O. Box 488 Lamarque, Texas 77568

The news was confirmed by track announcer John Paul Faour (who is the brother of ESPN 97.5 FM host, Fred Faour). John Paul worked at the track for 22 years, starting as a waiter when the track opened and later becoming track announcer in 1999 and adding the title of mutuels manager in 2015. He also hosted a popular late-night replay show for several years.

"It sucks for all of us who work there and all the regulars who came out all the time," he says. "But the place and the people were great for me. I got to do play by play announcing nationwide, I got to host the TV show five nights a week in the Houston market. I learned marketing, promoting and wrote over 100 TV and radio spots. And I did all of that in my hometown of La Marque."

Gulf Greyhound Park opened November 10, 1992, and quickly became one of the premier dog tracks in the country. It featured high-class racing and some of the better greyhounds in the country spent time at the track. Huge crowds and large betting pools were common. But over time, popularity began to wane.

In recent years, live racing gave way to more simulcasting, allowing people to bet on greyhounds and race horses around the country. While they still had the occasional live race meet, it was a far cry from the glory days of racing nearly year round in the 1990s.

Gulf had tried along with other racetracks to get additional gaming approved to boost revenue, but the state refused their overtures.

Many once-popular businesses have shuttered since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. That lists includes restaurants such as Bernie's Burger Bus and Americas as well as chain store locations such as JC Penney.

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