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Cloverleaf Dogtrack

Overgrown racetrack with glassed in grandstand

Overgrown racetrack with glassed in grandstand

Cloverleaf stopped racing dogs in 2007. Surrounded by the new hospital, Centerra Lifestyle Center, and even the failing outlet mall, the 50-year-old racetrack sold last year.

The Medical Center of the Rockies bought the lot. I know that because if you try to explore the ruins, a security guard from the hospital finds you in a couple minutes. She says they will tear it down. Recycle everything. Build a new hospital building all out of recycled material. And then she’ll run you off.

She also says, no you can’t take pictures. I had to photograph from the frontage road by I-25.

Lucky for us, Defunct Playgrounds got some good ones here: http://defunctplaygrounds.com/cloverleaf.php

Elemental Imaging got great ones too.


11 comments to Cloverleaf Dogtrack

  • Wow. My first reaction is the usual on when something that was part of the landscape changes… but I can’t feel bad that they aren’t using up and spitting out those sweet little dogs. I met someone with a rescued greyhound, and what a loving animal that was — seemed to weigh about twenty pounds, and would leap into your arms at the slightest encouragement.

    We used to pass the place, but never went in. I remember that the parking lot was popular for people flying little buzzing airplanes. Radio-controlled, no doubt. We drove past it in May, and I never suspected it was a relic already.

    Bottom line: the world is spared from their obnoxious, repetitive radio spot. I don’t want to dignify it by calling it a jingle: just those damn happy voices that filled AM radio, asking and answering their own question over and over:
    “Whaaaat ya gonna do tonight?” “GO GREYHOUND RACING!”
    “Whaaaat ya gonna do tonight?” “GO GREYHOUND RACING!”

  • wordsbybob

    I moved to Loveland in 1969. Only went to the track twice that I can remember but it was a northern Colo. icon.

    A few months ago, they did auction off many of the items (seats, signs, etc.) so some of the history will be retained.

    The track brought in lots of people from Denver and Wyoming, and provided summer jobs for lots of kids.

  • Before I moved to Europe, I used to work at Factual Data, just up the road from Cloverleaf.

    Occasionally, on my lunch hour, I would grab lunch with a friend & rather than eating in one of the nearby restaurants, we would get our food to go so that we could eat in the grass next to the dog track, away from the rush of lunch hour people.

    Whenever I come back to the area to visit, there are significant changes – especially in the area around Centerra. It seems strange to imagine that area without the dog track, even though it wasn’t a place that I actually frequented, but was a part of the scenery of home.

    Thanks for the slideshow – it’s nice to see a few bits of home.

  • I’ve been there a few times, with friends who liked to bet on the races back when I was in college (about 18 years ago). I *always* wanted to take a picture of the Dog Track when I was driving north on the highway past it, ‘cuz there was a huge sign that said Flea Market right next to the track and I just thought that was funny. 😀

  • I was meaning to take some pictures out that way, but now I’m scairt!

  • catfc

    Kip, Great details only an long-time FtCollins resident would remember. Thanks.

    It wasn’t until I got home and looked at my photos that I realized the “no RC airplanes” was by order of the FAA. The Loveland airport is close, and I can imagine it’s a problem if you’re a pilot to see one of those little things buzzing around. Makes me wonder why they ever allowed it.

    I changed my post, added photographs, to show that sign.

  • I worked there after they stopped having races in 2007. They still televised races in the bar area and my fathers company provided the janitorial services. That place was creepy. When ever I went to clean the place I would bring my friends with me and we would explore all the hidden passages and secret rooms in the massive building. There was a man who lived inside the track and had a few dozen cats. He was supposed to be the security for the place or something. They should leave the building up and rent it to Hollywood studios. This is the perfect setting for a horror movie.

  • catfc

    Grow, I always thought desperation hung over that place, even in its salad days. By the way, I love what you’re doing with your blog, documenting urban development in Fort Collins. I hope you do lots more of it!

  • Even the name of the place evokes an earlier time….the “cloverleaf” on and off the highway was a modern marvel back then.
    I have fond memories of an annual event held there in the mid sixties called Mutt Derby. The public (kids) could bring their pet dogs and enter races by weight class. They even ran the mechanical rabbit for it.
    I probably have a ribbon stored away somewhere that was awarded to Pepper, the dog I “borrowed” from my aunt and uncle for the day.


  • jim o

    I am one of those that really hated to see it shut down. Iwent there as often as i could during live racing when they shut it down iwent to satilite and really enjoyed myself I didnt make any money out there but boy did i enjoy myself and didnt lose much either just had fun. seems things i enjoy just cant last But anyhow when they were picking there stuff up
    after the auction I went out and took a bunch of pictures inside and out just to remember the place after it is tore down.

  • Jamie

    David Peterson and I covered opening day of Cloverleaf’s last season for KRFC. I have the audio story, if you guys would like it.

    A few stories behind the scenes as well.