CASHED UP TURF CLUB BUILDS A MAGIC FUTURE
14 May 2012,
AFTER a turbulent period, the Gold Coast Turf Club is back on track with a rich government grant and big plans for the future. Club chairman Brett Cook (pictured) outlines his vision for the Coast’s thoroughbred racing headquarters and the home of the famous Magic Millions.
Is it over-ambitious to speculate about the Magic Millions carnival becoming Australia’s richest event?
I would not bet against Gerry Harvey and katie Paige taking this event to the next level. There is already $4.3 million in prizemoney on offer on race day. Gerry has openly stated to the media his desire to see a $10 million race day. The Magic Millions is now entrenched as a must-attend event in January, its growth not only benefits the Club and the thoroughbred industry in general, it also has significant flow-on effects for the local economy. Its growth and prosperity reaches so many other businesses such as accommodation houses, restaurants and eateries, retail, transport providers and print media.
Many businesses in the Gold Coast region have been hit hard by a downturn in visitor numbers and a strong Australian dollar. How is the GCTC faring and what steps have you taken to ensure the business has countered external economic factors?
The GCTC is no different to the many businesses on the Coast that face the challenges resulting from the poor economic climate. Trading activity from traditional streams is steady but with little growth. The club has been exploring other revenue streams outside of racing and training. Let’s face it, we derive our revenue primarily from opening one day a week while we incur outgoings seven days a week – not the most ideal business model. The GCTC sits on 44 hectares with significant other parcels of the land located within the Bundall Equine precinct. The possibilities for the site are endless however it will require significant infrastructure upgrades and a change of thinking by various stakeholders.
The new LNP State Government has pledged a revised structure for the racing industry. Do you support this concept and what will the proposed changes mean for the GCTC?