Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Entertain us

SVREL responds to calls for improvements to Caymanas Park experience

Published:Sunday | June 13, 2021 | 12:14 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer
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Jockey Oneil Foster rides MEET JUSTIN to victory in the Little Caesars Hot ‘N’ Ready Run trophy on The Burger King Superstakes Raceday at Caymanas Park on Saturday, November 10, 2018.
File Jockey Oneil Foster rides MEET JUSTIN to victory in the Little Caesars Hot ‘N’ Ready Run trophy on The Burger King Superstakes Raceday at Caymanas Park on Saturday, November 10, 2018.
Gooden
Gooden
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With increasing calls for an improvement to the entertainment value for visitors to the facility, Lorna Gooden, General Manager of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), said her organisation has been implementing a number of...

With increasing calls for an improvement to the entertainment value for visitors to the facility, Lorna Gooden, General Manager of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), said her organisation has been implementing a number of new measures and strategies in order to improve the racing experience and to attract more new punters to Caymanas Park.

Gooden told The Sunday Gleaner that her organisation has been constantly upgrading the facility over the past few years, while pointing out that, once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, there will be a lot more infrastructural development at the facility.

“Last year, we announced that we were focused on making Caymanas Park a destination for visitors, while adding to the entertainment value of the park,” said Gooden. “To start the process, we signed a deal with Chukka Cove to provide tours of the facility. We expect this to become a reality as soon as the country recovers from COVID-19. In the meantime, we have pivoted to deliver a bet type similar to the offerings of SVREL’s simulcast partners, the Reggae 6, the first of the many wagering innovations by the SVREL team resulting in millionaires each weekend.”

“We have introduced new wagers such as Ketch 9 and have added more giveaways for customers using our MBet platform, and, of course, our carryovers and single winner bonuses are a hit. Punters are winning more and, yes, we do have more in store for them,” Gooden added.

However, Ryan Darby, president of the United Racehorse Trainers Association (UTRA), said there is an urgent need for more entertainment options at the facility, especially for first-time punters during the race days.

“I think that we need to fast-track the entertainment aspect of it because, apart from just coming to track for racing and just watching a race, we need sports bars settings for persons who are interested in racing and can have other interests while at the track on race days,” said Darby.

“As it is now, if you don’t understand horse racing, while you are at the track, chances are you might become bored halfway through the day, and so we need to expand the entertainment variety so that people can be more entertained while at the races,” he said.

Darby’s sentiments are echoed by Damar Wilson, a punter who has been going to track for over 20 years and who also believes a lot more needs to be added to the park’s offerings, to attract spectators.

“We need more entertainment here so that we can take our kids to track,” said Wilson.

PLAY AREA FOR KIDS

“We need a play area for the kids and we need more things to attract people over here because, if you look around, there are only grooms, trainers and few persons who love racing that are here and so, unless there is a big race day, you are not going to find a lot of people coming here,” he added.

Gooden underscored that, despite the downturn in sales, SVREL has still managed to improve some areas of the facility and will continue to do so as they aim to make Caymanas Park a tourism destination.

“Caymanas Park has been consistently upgrading its stables and the physical infrastructure since last year, a move that will continue to ensure that the facilities of the 60-year old park are maintained,” she said. “We have also upgraded our electrical distribution system for the race track and purchased water trucks which are crucial to keeping the track irrigated. We have undertaken repaving of the roadways which were in dire need of repairs.”

She also pointed out that a brand-new tote board should be in operation at the track in August. The old tote board, which had stopped working in 2019, was demolished in February.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com