Watkins Glen Loses Historic Club in Fire
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The Glen Club at Watkins Glen International, caught fire yesterday evening and was extinguished around 6:00 am on Wednesday, March 7. The track was closed at the time of the fire and no one was injured, however the historic building is considered a loss. The club was located on the inside of the track midway up the famed Esses.
An investigation is still taking place to determine the cause of the fire however, the fire will not affect the 2007 race season at Watkins Glen International. The first race weekend will take place, June 8-10 during the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
"It is sad to see the loss of such an important piece of our history, but we are thankful no one was injured. The loss of this building will in no way affect our ability to host racing events like the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race," stated Craig Rust, President of Watkins Glen International. "We are already reaching out to our displaced Glen Club customers and will immediately begin to construct a plan to replace the club."
The Glen Club offered a VIP experience to fans, customers and sponsors during racing events held at WGI and was also available for rental during non-racing events. The history of the Glen Club dates back almost 50 years to a tent called the "Paddock Club" in 1958. The Club grew to an open-sided building in 1959 and was then upgraded by enclosing the building, adding a small kitchen and renaming it the "Onyx Club" in 1967. It underwent substantial improvements and was re-named the "Glen Club" in 1985 when the track re-opened under new management.