have again upped purses. We spoke to their director of racing and got some answers to why he thinks the little track is building a following.
"We have heard for many previous years 'this will be our last season'", says Director of Racing John Yinger.
"Now with our purse increase, higher handles, and a proposed new long term deal with horsemen, we are looking to the future"
So goes the storyline at Pompano Park.
This change in outlook did not happen by accident. It was a multi-pronged attack to grow handle and grow customer satisfaction.
"Our simulcast manager has a casino background and he is also a horseplayer. He has been pushing for churn and better value for horseplayers. We reduced our takeout and expanded our signal reach, so the market is looking at the product." he said.
In late 2009 the first step was to attack pricing, where up until that time, Pompano embarked on perhaps the largest one-time takeout cut in horse racing history. WPS dropped from 20.5% to 19%, Pick 4 takeout went from from 25% to 15%, all other bets dropped from 28 to 23, except supers which dropped from 29.5% to 25%.
"Instead of being one of the highest takeout tracks out there, we moved to at or below harness racings average. The pick 4, for example, is picking up steam. No one played it at all - we averaged $800 a night historically. Now we average over $4000. We hope to average over $5000 next season." said Yinger.
The push has not stopped there.
"We have tried to make the racing more fun for on-track patrons. We have a trackside show and we offer five or six starting car rides a night. We have tried to get the younger audience to the track. While they are here and betting they get more churn too. Our on-track handle has doubled a lot of nights." he said.
John also told us that over the summer they worked hard to brighten up the track, and the staff - even on the casino side - has been racing driven.
"We painted and upgraded several things, on track. Our staff works very hard on both sides to promote racing" he added.
With most of the handle - like all tracks - coming from off-track, they have tried their best to maximize the interest by offering free video on the website and free past performance files. Because of a dispute on giving out free data that has been suspended at the present time, but he hopes something can be worked out to get the free programs back on the website.
Whereas a lot of tracks score their progress by pure profit and loss, the management team at Pompano is focused on handle and growing the number for the long-term.
Lower takeout, a better simulcasting product, a nicer on track experience - and two purse hikes in three months. It seems that it's a win-win at Pompano so far this season. It's one small track that has grown.
If you'd like to pay this track a visit you can find out more about them at Pompano Park's website.
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