I was hoping to use this a lot more considering the $90 yearly fee, the cherry on top to write this comes on a time of exhaustion trying to debate points and state facts in 140 characters for the either Monmouth Park clueless or the extensively knowledgeable faithful. Nearly here nor there, it’s time to put it all in more than a 140-character tweet or tweet replies.
While a select few would call me negative about Monmouth Park, the adults and knowledgeable would not, and many in their lifetime will come to the realization the difference between the definition of negativity and simply what is providing factual unbiased information.
My 20th straight Opening Day approaches in what some are terming Monmouth Park’s final year without the acceptance of a bill to allow sports wagering and/or casino gaming, slot machine, whatever you as an individual call that setup, a room with 50 slot machines, IMHO is not a casino. Neither here nor there, this has been the conversation for several years now, It’s nothing new.
I’ll start with the past mistakes and forgotten corrections. I am all for going all in on a strong opinion. Whether it be a stock you think is going to increase your portfolio by 50%, a horse that is going to win by 10 lengths, a small business idea you want to invest your savings in to create a gold mine, an additional class to certify yourself to bigger and better things but will put you in loan debt, I’m all for it, go after your dreams. However, after making that decision, when it fails, anyone with knowledge about their dream, that weighs the pros and cons of that dream, has a backup plan.
You must have a recovery plan, a mean of action, a term of correction. Monmouth sweeps its entire horseman staff to bring in a casino staff, ready for gambling and sports betting, full of pit bosses, floor guys, staff, security, all in; before a bill passes. No problem I’m all for it, but the recovery plan, the knowledge of possible adjustment to failure, nowhere to be found.
Roughly 5 meets since the sweep. You have people that are a “sports/casino” guy in charge of tournaments, that changes rules mid tournament or mid “winter season sessions”. He reassures his knowledge, rulings and decisions with 20+ of sports & tournament service or I’ve never heard of your tournament style, no one has ever complained about it, while the entire OTB room on tournament day complained, to such a degree that the exact tournament style others and I proposed, is exactly what the “winter sessions” were changed to for the 2017 year. Last year a $1,000 (maybe $500) buy in tournament, he cancelled tracks for use mid tournament. They were replaced with none, no refund was offered and all tournament entries were put in a stranglehold to put their entire day and tournament on 3 meaningless Monmouth races. Maybe the reason live entries have been down 37% this year? – Fact.
The non-recovery plan, the idea of no correction, now has additional employed staff members that are in quite the control that know NOTHING about horse racing and that put the TRACK LAST. It’s an absolute means to failure, it has shown in purses, it has shown in field size, it has shown in attendance, it has shown in decisions and it is not arguable, or excusable.
Now, if you have this knowledge, this 20+ years of experience, this entire staff focused on sports, casino marketing, focused on getting people to the casino, getting people to the track, retention, one would think you would employ it no? What does a casino offer that keeps people coming to gamble, coming to play, or stay, all of which lead to $, gambling, return?
How about a player’s card that has a return for anyone that goes? The player scans their card every single bet, or when they get to the track and when they leave, just like you would at the casino. Every $20 worth of bets the players gets a free .10 Superfecta, or .10 goes back to the card that accumulates and the player gets a free betting voucher with whatever is on the card whenever you wish to withdraw it, I mean it’s 1 IT computer script, I’m not even in the business and could write the script.
How about some type of cash grab, 1 random person at the track receives it once a month. 1 random person gets to put in as many exactas’ or trifectas as they can in a minute. The same thing that happens when you arrive to the casino. You scan your card into the rewards machine, 1 person gets a free buffet, 1 gets a free $10,20,30,40,50 double your roulette or blackjack bet. A free $20 slot play on any penny machine. A free parking pass for the day. I mean you are staffed with people that claim to have 20+ years’ experience in this realm, and you don’t think this would bring anybody to the track or ensure retention? I promise you my fiancé and her family would go a lot more knowing there $20 worth of bets on the day gets them 2 free supers the next time they come or they could draw a free parking pass so staying half the day isn’t all that bad after the beach.
I’ll only touch on slightly how atrocious all the events are run. I mean people know it’s family fun day only if they bury themselves in a random spot of the concrete in no where’s land and notice there is a moonwalk and face painter sitting there. Additionally, every single event run, after already paying $10-$20 just to get into the venue, now you must pay at every single food truck to eat $8-$10, or every single wine “shot topped” pour is $7, every beer tasting “shot topped” is $7. I mean it’s ridiculous and absolutely mind boggling and borderline lacks any intelligence what so ever.
I know Belmont is on another level racing wise, but is the Meadowlands also on another level racing wise? Yet both draw 2,500-5,000+ people to their events depending on the event. Maybe because they charge 1 fee that comprises your parking, entry, and entire 5-7 hours of ALL YOU CAN beer taste, ALL YOU CAN wine taste, food truck eating in BUFFET FORM for a mere $35. So, one of these track and Monmouth run the event on the same day, Am I going to pay $34 to have 2 single shot pours of wine, parking and entry or am I going to Belmont or the Meadowlands and paying $35 for parking, entry, and all you can drink or eat, or both, for 5-7 hours’ time. Common sense, I’m not going to Monmouth.
I already wrote to much about it, and it will never change because it’s been the same since day 1 so i’ll stop there. The point is, if these events are going to be your go to, end all be all, how about you have people walk around with Ipad’s that take bets on the races while waiting in food/wine/beer line or while watching your kids on the ride or waiting for the face painting to be done. I mean the event is already is awful, but at least reap the benefits of the event you have going on if possible, right? If 200 people, miss 200 $50 bets waiting in line during the day, you just lost out on 5 figures to the day purse. Common Sense.
Lastly, the drink and food situation is atrocious and I could literally rip this to pieces for the rest of the day onto the likes of pages 100-150. I’ll keep it semi short and sweet with a few facts cause honestly, I’m not eating or drinking there anyway and it’s the least of my concerns but A casino offers free alcohol to the players, if you are casino backed staff, don’t show me a $15 bill for 1 gin and tonic, or $8 bill per Coors light bottle, after a score when I bring my friends down to enjoy it with me. A. I’ll just bring my own 30 pack and we will celebrate the score with that. B. You now turned to what I would guess is roughly 85% entrants BYOB to the Monmouth, to now 90/95% with the increase in prices yearly.
A project that was built specifically for Monmouth Park as the go to, awesome, can’t miss sports bar for Haskell day, Saturday day’s end, pregame or nightly finish and/or just general drinking, loaded with horse racing/ sports TV’S and machines to place bets, finally finished production before the meet last year. Monmouth waved their hand at it upon completion. There it sits as an eye sour across the street with nothing in it and you now still have NOWHERE for anyone to go nearby, before or after the races. You still have no draw to the fan to continue the day somewhere. And I know for a FACT that project was built for Monmouth Park, and revenue from it was going to Monmouth Park. Instead you wave your hand at it, wave your hand at the revenue and essentially tell anyone to continue their day, head to another bar or place, where none of the money ever gets to us. – Fact
In turn, you build a restaurant that is already on the ropes and draws little to no customers and quite frankly unless you hit a 20-1 shot, really offers nobody at the track a reason to go. You create a beer garden to try the same BEER for $8 that I can buy for a 6 pack for $8.99, (not in walking distance without missing a race I might add) and you bring in 7 venues for food that anyone on the beach or the surrounding all know are located within 1.1 to 3 miles at the max, for most walking distance, and then UPSALE the product price.
Do you really think people are going to drive to Monmouth Park and pay to get in, pay to park and then pay to get Lighthouse for a $6 vanilla cone, when they can go after or walk from the beach without paying any entry into Monmouth Park for that same $2 vanilla cone? I mean it’s basic business principals, it’s basic casino principals. You don’t see McDonalds in the Borgata. No one is merely going to the track for these additions and No one is staying at the track for these additions.
Lastly, if you want to be the Colin Kapernick of Monmouth Park, as if you are some end all be all and are doing everything in your power to make the change, delete twitter. We all know it’s beautiful, we all like the jockey’s and the track, we all like bringing our families, enough already. If you want to make a change, use the power that you have, which you do have, and tweet less. Can’t take it anymore, and it’s shocks me every time that many I know with vast knowledge about Monmouth buy into this guy. The same goes for the APP writer that backs his every word, that was caught in 4 published lies about Monmouth last year, both of you, Stop, Please.
If you want to believe that Monmouth Park’s sole reason for decline and lack of success is because of the bill, be my guest, be naïve. I just gave you several points, several easily executable ways with this staff that claims experience, to change and the additional reality behind why they are, where they are right now. Is this bill some to blame, sure. Nearly everyone at this point has gaming funds, but like anyone else in this world, that is successful, they have a plan, they adapt and they work with what they have. Those same people that are involved here, are just watching their product go in flames like a old highway car.
I’ll provide picks here and there again this year on my website ryneolsen.com It won’t be as common. Very busy summer and if the fields draw as they did last year, it becomes nearly unplayable. Check my website or twitter feed around 11:00/11:30 a.m. on live racing days, If I’m going to have picks, it would be posted by then.