(from Venues Today, November 19, 2013) California’s Santa Anita Park recently spent $15 million in just under 12 weeks to revamp the historic venue. The renovations were revealed at the 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championship, the venue’s largest event, in celebration of the Park’s 30th birthday. Also celebrating a benchmark is the owner of Santa Anita Park, Stronach Group, who turns 80 this year. Tom Lundt, Vice President of Racing and Gaming at Stronach Group, stresses the importance of returning the fan focus to live experiences rather than broadcasted segments. Lundt plans to do so by creating enthusiasm through a wowing display and the proper atmosphere at events.
“The world’s most beautiful race track,” despite its picturesque mountain background, was due for a tune up. The venue aimed for the work to be done prior to its autumn meet season and applauds the renovators Shawmut Design and Construction on completing the project in such a short time with such outstanding results. Most improvements were technological advancements to give the venue a more modern look and feel. Notable upgrades include enhancements to the Chandelier, Director’s, and Americana Rooms and audiovisual improvements to the mezzanine area. The old audiovisual system was replaced with a new high definition system. Another noted advancement includes two walls full of high definition televisions to bring privacy and luxury to high-end gamblers while at the track.
Some parts of Santa Anita Park have now been restored back to their original appearance giving it a retro feel. For example, old pictures and vintage cars are displayed in the 220-seat Chandelier Room, the room saw that the most change. Another addition to the room was an outdoor balcony. Perched atop two staircases already in place, the balcony allows for more natural lighting and accents the famous mountain rage scenery in the background. According to Lundt, the upgrades have been met with very positive feedback from the fans even dubbing the 2013 Breeder’s Cup the best one yet.