Derby weekend means big business for neighbors near track - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Derby weekend means big business for neighbors near track

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Bill Smythe lives just steps from Churchill Downs and has been making extra money by renting parking spaces on his property. Bill Smythe lives just steps from Churchill Downs and has been making extra money by renting parking spaces on his property.
Darrell Blackburn rented a space from a homeowner near Churchill Downs so he could set up shop with his catering business. Darrell Blackburn rented a space from a homeowner near Churchill Downs so he could set up shop with his catering business.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As crowds of people descend on Churchill Downs for Oaks and Derby, people who live near the track take advantage of the opportunity to make a little extra cash. 

Neighbors who live not far from Churchill Downs often rent out their yards and property to people looking for a place to park. 

Ben Smythe has been doing that for 10 years. He charges $25 per spot, and says he has a lot of repeat customers. "I had a few people already text me that are coming by and are going to park with me on Oaks and Derby.

He was hoping to park around 20 cars each day. 

Smythe says he takes a vacation day from his job to park the cars, and says it's well worth it. 

"I meet a lot of nice people, I get some horse tips, and definitely get some money," Smythe said. 

Not far from Smythe, Darrell Blackburn paid a homeowner to allow him set up his catering business in a driveway. 

Blackburn says he won't be attending the races. 

"I am not going in," Blackburn said. "I am here to make as much money as possible. I rented a spot here from the people that owns this house here, and I'm just here for the excitement outside."

Blackburn is selling pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, chicken breasts and more. He says he enjoys the people watching and of course the extra cash. 

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