Paris approves agreement with Great Lakes Dragaway regarding nuisances

Photo by kahle via

The Paris Town Board has approved an agreement to control certain nuisances that some residents have complained about regarding the Great Lakes Dragaway.

The approved agreement is largely the same as a draft first made public last month. Some changes were made, but were mostly technical in nature. One substantive change was an additional quiet day, which will be the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

In the document, Great Lakes Dragaway agrees:

  • To reduce lighting by one-third, unless cars are operating over 150 mph.
  • To reduced lighting at 12:30 a.m. and lights out at 1 a.m. on weekends.
  • To limit jet cars to 15 percent of running dates and no later than 10 p.m., except for the Friday and Saturday of Memorial and Labor Day weekends, where they could be run until 11 p.m.
  • To observe quiet days for Mother’s Day, Easter Day and the Fourth of July. In addition, the track will designate two race weekends per season as silencer weekends.
  • To plant fast-growing arborvitae trees that start out from 5 to 6 feet in height every five feet along the east border of the property.

A committee of residents also will be formed to work with the track on certain issues, such as setting race dates.

After the meeting, track owner Randy Henning said the quiet days were the toughest part of the agreement for him. The roar of engines is part of the sport.

“We really do appeal to people who like the sounds,” Henning said. “People who like cars say it’s like music.”

But regardless, Henning said he was glad the issue is resolved for now and that people on both sides can begin to work with each other.

“Now we have something to work with,” Henning said. “Hopefully, we start tearing the wall down today.”

Town Chairman Virgil Gentz thanked all who worked on hammering out the agreement, including residents who spoke of their concerns at meetings.

“Thank you to all the people in this room who have voiced concerns over the years,” Gentz said.



  1. Mike at GLD says:

    This article is correct, except for one part of the agreement that may cause confusion to readers:

    “To plant fast-growing arborvitae trees that start out from 5 to 6 feet in height every five feet along the east border of the property.”

    Randy agrees to plant trees, however the terms reached between Mr. Henning and the town are that trees will be planted along the east side of the racing track itself – not along the entire east line of the property.

    1. admin says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Mike — Darren

  2. Xfactor says:

    GLD has given more that necessary and hopefully this is finally over. Hopefully the handful of complainers will let them run their business now. I believe it was opened in 1955? and has landmark status in the industry. Quit trying to shut it down. Move! The dragstrip was here first. They have made enough concessions.

  3. Jerry says:

    Wow, I have some legal knowledge and the town of Paris may have crossed the line here……
    With restricting the business, and regulating it.
    I live not that far away and in this econmy we need business’s of any kind.
    I am wondering are the owners that stubborn to its neighbors?
    How long have the neighbors lived there?
    If I were the town board I would tread lightly on this.
    I see some legal challenges fo rthe board if they don’t lighten up on this.
    Was the track there before Zoning was in place?
    Oh well I could see a attorney eating this one up.

  4. Xfactor says:

    Yeah, like the former town atty. did. He took his money and did next to nothing to resolve the issue.

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