03 March 2008

Disappointing news from Presque Isle

Presque Isle Downs celebrated its first anniversary last week with hot dogs and cake, and the racino already has plans for expansion. You can read the list of planned enhancements at the Erie Times-News website, GoErie.com or hear MTR Gaming Group Chief Executive Ted Arneault discuss them with reporter John Guerriero on "ErieTube".

What you'll find is that, despite the venerate opinion of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of TBA - and the fact that there is no grandstand - there are no plans for seating improvements to the track. Big race days, though, will see more betting windows and machines. And at least our comments about the poor traffic plans have been heeded, as the expansion will allow the betting windows to be moved away from the buffet line.

So, despite the fact that Pennsylvania is the only state to have a position dedicated to racing on its gaming commission (Blood-Horse), it seems that racing improvements come somewhere down the list from buffet decor. I'd say the Gaming Commission's Melinda Tucker has her work cut out for her.

Presque Isle Downs was reportedly named best racino in 2007 by Thoroughbred-Times, though I've yet to find it mentioned on the TT website.

Meanwhile, Presque Isle Downs is looking for a new simulcast host:

On March 12th and 13th, the casino will hold a Casting Call from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, and interested individuals with television experience and/or knowledge of thoroughbred racing should apply. To reserve your spot, please call 814-866-8770. Please bring a head-shot, demo tape and come prepared for a screen test.
Hmm... might be worth looking into. After all, the simulcast host probably gets a seat.


Valerie said...

Man, I couldn't believe when I saw that Presque Isle Downs was named best racino...what a crock! There was NO housing for backstretch workers, and we've already lamented the pathetic absence of seating. You know, what a wasted opportunity! PID could have become THE premier track in PA, a transitional surface for horses aiming for Saratoga. Shame on MTR!