Red Shores and harness racing a winning combination
By Brett Revington
New Year’s Eve 2012 has come and gone in exciting style at Red Shores Charlottetown. Once again the weather appeared as if it was going to play havoc on our New Year’s Eve race card. Last year rain poured down on the event and this year Mother Nature brought a snowstorm on December 30. The track crew did a great job working around the clock to have the racing strip ready for the New Year’s Eve card.
The Red Shores model of offering a great racing product, fine dining and exciting offers on the gaming is a great example to other jurisdictions of how racing can compete in the marketplace, given the right circumstances.
New Year’s Eve at the Top of the Park was completely sold out by early December. A lot of new folks became familiar with our facility, our services and our great racing. This year’s added feature of bringing in a band went over really well, and many stayed long after the races were over for the entertainment and the midnight balloon drop. The gaming floor was abuzz all night long too as we reached out to a new clientele. It was great to see.
Back to the races . . . The action was hot, even with the cold temperatures. Camcun, trained and driven by Ken Arsenault, circled the oval in a sparkling 1.58.4 on the cold night. The track was rated off two seconds. The swan-song dash of 2012 went to C L Eighty, again trained and driven by Ken Arsenault. Ken staked claim to the trainer’s title, just nudging past Jackie Matheson. Congrats to both of these trainers on a great year!
We wagered $33,679 on the 13-dash program; up from 2011 where we wagered $20,341 on a 14-race program. Nice growth for sure!
We also saw growth on site and from outside sources. Charlottetown’s on-track wagering for 2012 increased by one per cent. Charlottetown’s total wagering on live increased 20 per cent. Summerside’s on-track wagering increased four percent. Summerside’s total wagering on live, increased 21 per cent. The total live increase indicates our product is gaining a stronger fan base and our pools are growing. It’s all good for the industry in PEI.
We’ve had one card since New Year’s Eve and had to cancel another due to inclement weather. Now it’s time to review and revamp our existing programs and promotions.