Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Their own worst enemy: Big problems lie ahead for Gulfstream Park if they continue keeping HB community in the dark, esp. re night racing

Above, the sign of advertising infamy, the Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino sign that tells you that you are about to get close to the Twilight Zone of Marketing in South Florida, where multi-million dollar companies act like hapless Elementary School PTAs in the 1960's, wasting resources and opportunities left and right.
As I've mentioned in this space many times before, this sign
facing southbound U.S.-1/Federal Highway from the intersection of U.S.-1 and Hibiscus, is at one of the premier advertising spots in all of Broward County, yet this sign has NOT been illuminated at night in over THREE YEARS.
This proves that having access to millions of dollars and amazing resources doesn't make your company intelligent or wise or prescient.
Just poorly managed.

Below, the same sign from a slightly lower angle, with the Race Track complex visible above the shrubs. You'll immediately notice that the green spotlight on the left is completely missing, leaving only the brace in the ground, as it has been for about a year. The spotlight on the right is complete, but STILL broken three years later.
I was going to run photos of this that I took last weekend, when I was also taking shots of the infamous Hallandale Beach red-light camera one block away.

Instead, I've chosen to post these two photos that I shot of the sign on August 16th, 2010.
Nothing has changed.
And I do mean nothing!
August 16, 2010 photos by South Beach Hoosier
Their own worst enemy: Big problems lie ahead for Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino if they persist in playing their stealthy games in Tallahassee with legislators and lobbyists while continuing to keep the Hallandale Beach community in the dark about their plans for night racing.

If they thought South Floridians already DON'T care about them...

So, do you recall how I recently mused out loud in this space that the geniuses over at Gulfstream Park Race Track were their very own worst enemies?

Sure you do!


In case you didn't... it's here, from February 14th:

Magna's bankruptcy, Frank Stronach, Gulfstream Park to be topics of Hallandale Beach City Comm.'s closed meeting Wednesday; night racing at Gulfstream

http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/magnas-bankruptcy-frank-stronach.html


I went on a bit about their terrible management of their world-famous facility, whether in dealing with aesthetics, customer service, public safety or their perfectly dreadful marketing, wherein every move they seem to make seems worse than the last one, which can only make the folks at Forest City Enterprises more angry that they are tied together with Magna.
Above, August 16, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier of the Forest City Enterprises trailer at the northwest corner of the Gulfstream Park parking lot, with that neglected Gulfstream Park sign on the other side of the palm trees.


Above, December 14, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier.

So, if you thought having a sign on
U.S.-1 that you don't illuminate at night for the tens of thousands of drivers passing by every day is dumbfounding, how do you feel about their sign on the Aventura side of the property, on U.S.-1/Biscayne Blvd. facing N.E. 215th Street, where for AT LEAST two weeks between Thanksgiving and mid-December, in the heart of holiday shopping advertising, they had a sign that had... wait for it... NOTHING on it?
Above, the sign as it appeared on December 12th, 2010, with nary a persuasive letter to be found.
It's beyond dumbfounding, it's marketing suicide.


But for two weeks, while the shops and restaurants at Village at Gulfstream were open and screaming for shoppers, Magna & Forest City put their worst face forward. How can you make money for your shareholders if you don't even try to compete?

Oh, by the way, only one of the spotlights on this sign has worked since Spring of 2010.
Plus, well, there are other self-evident problems here that Magna is either ignoring or blind to but which your faithful blogger noticed right away.
More on that soon...



Above, December 14, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier
South Florida's lack of concern or interest in Gulfstream Park is best illustrated by the fact that roughly 20 hours after the Miami Herald went online with the story below on Friday the 25th, not a single person who'd read the article even bothered to leave a comment, pro, con or otherwise.
And here we are five days later, and there is STILL nobody interested enough to say anything.

That's about as real a sign of lack of relevance as one could find.


Concerned Hallandale Beach residents who've been paying close attention, like myself and many of the people I interact with everyday in all sorts of places, the very people who have to deal first-hand with the traffic that the track produces, are getting angry at Magna's close-mouthed tactics and lack of forthright communication with the public.

Occasionally trotting their PR person, Suzanne Friedman, across the street to Hallandale Beach City Hall to make nice and exchange meaningless blather to her bosom pals on the HB City Commission at their meetings -
as she is scheduled to do Wednesday morning- and just once-in-a-while at that, is NO SUBSTITUTE for their management's adamant refusal this far to level with the citizens who would most directly be affected by any future plans of theirs, including occasional night-racing.
(If you didn't already know, Gulfstream has been considering having twilight racing for the last six Fridays of the season, after Daylight Savings Time kicks-in soon, from March 18th to April 22nd, with a first post time around 3 p.m. But all the racing has to be finito by 7 p.m.
)

Magna has plenty of space at their facility to convene a large public meeting for all interested parties, in and out of the city, for them to finally do the right thing.
So what's preventing them from doing so?
Is it sheer stupidity, risk-averse management, complete clueless-ness...

Refusing to tell the truth about their plans and continuing to act like they can do whatever they want to do, with absolutely no negative consequences, is the road to ruin for them, as it will not only cost Magna the community's trust, short-term and long-term, but revenue as well.
http://www.midevelopments.com/

-----
Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/24/2084652/gulfstream-now-says-it-wants-year.html


Gulfstream now says it wants year-round racing

Gulfstream only intensified its dispute with Calder, which said Tuesday that it is considering year-round racing starting in July.

By Jim Freer
, Miami Herald Writer
February 25, 2011

A dispute between South Florida’s thoroughbred tracks intensified Thursday when Gulfstream Park said it plans to have racing year-round during the 12 months beginning July 1.
That is the latest salvo in a battle that began early this year when Gulfstream and Calder Casino & Race Course each told Florida racing regulators of plans to hold races in December 2011. For more than 20 years, Calder has been the only South Florida thoroughbred track to have racing in December. Gulfstream’s announcement Thursday came two days after Calder said it is considering year-round racing from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012.
The tracks have until Monday to submit their 2011-12 race dates to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which gives automatic approval.
Gulfstream hopes to settle the dispute by Monday and avoid head-to-head racing, Tim Ritvo, the track’s vice president for racing, said Thursday.
He said that Frank Stronach, chairman of Gulfstream and its parent MI Developments, will meet Friday in Louisville, Ky., with Bill Carstanjen, chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Inc., the parent company of Calder.
As of Thursday, both tracks plan to race head-to-head at least on Saturdays and Sundays starting July 1.
Barry Rose, a trainer and owner with horses stabled at Calder, said there is widespread concern about how that would impact the tracks and the state’s racing industry.
“There are only so many wagering dollars available, and it would be hard for both tracks to maintain the same kind of purse level if they race head-to-head,” he said.
Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach, traditionally holds races from early January through late April. Calder, in Miami Gardens, races the remainder of the year.
Gulfstream, with winter racing, has larger purses. It expects that December would be a strong economic month — if Calder is not running. In its strongest response, Calder announced Tuesday that starting Saturday it will not allow Calder-stabled horses back onto its property if they run in non-stakes races at Gulfstream during that track’s meet that runs through April 24. That will cost Calder-based owners some anticipated race revenues over the next two months and make it hard for some trainers to pay stable workers, Rose said.
Calder imposed the restrictions to help ensure that it “will have a healthy horse population” when it begins its race meet April 25, especially if it runs year-round, the track’s president, Austin Miller, said Tuesday.
Calder vice president John Marshall said Calder has to consider its cost of being the only Florida track open year-round for stabling and training.
On Wednesday, Gulfstream said that by Saturday it will have about 200 temporary stalls for horses that are vanned from Calder to race at Gulfstream and are not allowed back into Calder.
-----

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/28/2090957/gulfstream-calder-settle-dispute.html Miami Herald
Gulfstream, Calder settle dispute over race dates in December
By Jim Freer, Miami Herald Writer
March 1, 2011
Local racing Track Dates Calder 7/1/11-12/2/11 Gulfstream 12/3/11-4/8/12 Calder 4/9/12-6/30/12 South Florida’s thoroughbred tracks resolved a scheduling dispute Monday, with changes that include Gulfstream Park rather than Calder Casino & Race Course holding races most of this December.
Gulfstream said it will start its next season Dec. 3, 2011 and race during the remainder of December in a meet that will end April 8, 2012.
For more than 20 years, Calder has been the only South Florida thoroughbred track to have racing in December.
On Monday, Calder announced that it would end its 2011 season on Dec. 2 — one day before Gulfstream opens. That will avoid a rare situation in which two neighboring tracks have races on the same days.
Calder on Monday also said it will begin its 2012 season April 9, adding two mid-April weeks during which Gulfstream traditionally has held racing.
The tracks’ announcements, made separately, ended a dispute that started over the attractive December dates and escalated last week when both said they planned to race every week during the 12 months beginning July 1, 2011.
Officials of the two tracks declined comment Monday when asked about negotiations that led to their new schedules, and on whether Calder received any money in an adjustment in which Gulfstream is gaining December at least for one year.
However, last Friday, top officials of Churchill Downs Inc. (Calder’s parent company) and MI Developments (Gulfstream’s parent company) began a weekend of meetings and phone calls. On Saturday, Gulfstream president Steve Calabro said “we’re working on it,” when asked about efforts to resolve the dispute and avoid head-to-head racing.
On Monday, the two tracks met their deadline to file final dates with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for the 12 months beginning July 1, 2011. Florida Thoroughbred tracks pick their race dates with automatic approval from that regulator.
Sam Gordon, president of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association group of trainers and owners said he was not aware of any financial arrangements between the tracks.
“Maybe they both realized how costly it would be, and maybe someone blinked,” he said. “We’re glad that both sides took our recommendations and will not race head-to-head.”
With the dispute settled, Gulfstream will continue its season through April 24. Calder will then have racing from April 25 through Dec. 2.
Gulfstream will hold a race meet from Dec. 3 through April 8, 2012.
Calder will race from April 9, 2012 until June 30, 2012.
If the tracks had raced head-to-head, trainers and owners would have “been in a difficult position of having to choose and take sides,” said Bill White, one of the leading trainers at Calder who also races at Gulfstream.
“This was a dispute between the tracks, and they were using us as leverage,” he said. “It is great that this is over and we can focus on our business of putting on a show and winning races.”
There also were concerns among trainers that there would not have been enough wagering dollars to keep revenues at normal levels at either track or enough horses to fill races.
In a statement, Calder vice president of racing John Marshall said Calder and Gulfstream running head-to-head “would mean the end of the South Florida racing circuit and deny local horsemen the chance to make a living as they currently do.”
In a statement, Gulfstream vice president of racing Tim Ritvo said he expects the addition of December racing “will enhance our stakes schedule and the overall quality of our product.”
He added that Gulfstream believes the change “is in the best interests of South Florida racing.”
Gulfstream’s annual schedule includes the Florida Derby, which is on April 3 this year.

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