Bob Bahre joins Black Bear casino group in push for Oxford, Maine casino

OXFORD —  Bob Bahre and his son Gary, former owners of the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon and the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine, have become investment partners in Black Bear Entertainment, according to a release issued by the company early Tuesday.

Black Bear Resort Casino rendering
submitted photo

Black Bear Entertainment announced Tuesday that former Oxford Plains Speedway owner Bob Bahre and his son Gary Bahre have joined the company's investment group. Black Bear also released Tuesday this artist's rendering of the proposed casino resort.

Black Bear is the company proposing to build a resort casino in Oxford pending a statewide vote on the issue this November.

“What I like about this resort idea is it will benefit the entire state of Maine, and it will build on tourism, Maine’s most important industry,” Bahre said in a prepared statement. “The state’s economy badly needs a jump start, and a year-round resort is a good way to attract new visitors and build the tax base.”

Steve Barber, Black Bear CEO and the former president and CEO of Barber Foods in Portland, said Bob and Gary Bahre are welcomed investors and additions to the his team

“Bob and Gary have created hundreds of jobs for Maine people, and they are incredibly astute businessmen,” Barber said. “This development will create hundreds of good paying jobs for the people of Maine and contribute millions of dollars in new tax revenue for teachers salaries, college scholarships for our students, as well as many other state and local programs."

 Bob Bahre has built housing all over the state, as far north as Presque Isle, and still owns several shopping centers in Maine, the release stated.

Bahre owned and operated the Oxford Plains Speedway from 1964 to 1986, and in 1990 along with his brother Richard and son Gary built New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

The Bahres sold NHIS to Speedway Motorsports, Inc., in January of 2008, and the company still retains Bob Bahre as a consultant.

In the release Bahre laments the flight of manufacturing jobs from Maine, pointing to the closing of Robinson Manufacturing, Cummings Mill, Paris Manufacturing, Wilner Wood Products, A.C. Lawrence Leather, Oxford Homes and Burlington Homes in Oxford County alone.

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 's picture

That shows those wanna bees

That shows those wanna bees from Lewiston. Perhaps they'll offer Srarvinopilis Menderos a job as a janitor cleaning out the latrines.

 's picture

Another opportunity

knocks. Hopefully we don't miss this opportunity like we did last time when the Bahres wanted to bring an International Speeway to Maine. The State and local governments didn't want it in our backyard so they took their business endeavor out of state and NH has reaped the benefits for 20 years. This time Maine voters need to seize the chance to create jobs and grow our local economy.

 's picture

Good move

This is a very smart move for Black Bear. The Bahres are very well known, successful, and very popular with the local yokels (no offense intended). I think this is a complete game changer on the casino. Now you have the former president of Barber Foods and the former owners of NHIS proposing a casino in Oxford County. This is not just a bunch of wanna be investors looking to cash in. This just got very interesting.


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