On April 29, 2007, the day after the Florida Derby, customer Herb Kornspun and his family gathered at the racing tracks to witness the first horse race at Gulfstream Park. 82 year-old Kornspun said that he is a regular at the racing tracks.
He also said that weekend is an exception because he usually does not go to the racing tracks during the weekend, but since his daughter and 2 grandchildren were there, he wanted to treat them to a great hang-out. The Gulfstream Racing Track is a cheery place nowadays, with a lot of the young crowd frequenting the racing tracks.
Parents and grandparents alike with their families, like the Kornspuns and Cathy and Ross Tanner from London with their 9 month old daughter, Sophie visit the tracks. This is a very different sight from the older racing tracks which have not added slot machines to their offerings.
Perhaps, the slot machines at the Gulfstream Racing Park will save it from extinction. The Magna Entertainment Corporation, the owner of the Gulfstream Park, is also the owner of the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.
Offering the slot machines at the Gulfstream Racing Park has encouraged Magna Corporation officials to put in more money on the venture and renovate the plant.
When the Gulfstream Park, which added the slot machines in their offering in November 15, 2007, launched their winter race in January 2007, the racing track had around 3,000 customers and the profits reached over $150,000 compared to the 2006 winter racing meet.
On the first Saturday of the winter racing meet, Gulfstream Racing Park attracted around 3,500 customers and earned around $200,000. But on April 1, 2007, the handle earned by the Track was even at the 2006 winter racing meet.
Kornspun said that although he does not play the slot machines, he enjoys the racing, security and good food that the track provides. Bill Murphy, the Gulfstream President and General Manager said that even with the slot machines, the Horse racing at the track is still the main draw. He added that their chairman, Frank Stronach, has a positive goal, so when a customer visits their park, he will not doubt that the racing track cares about the welfare of the horse racing industry.
Nonetheless, there have been some complaints from customers like the seating accommodations. During the derby, owners and their trainers chose to stand on the staircase, which is accessible from the racing grand stand to watch the Kentucky Derby horse race rather than stand or sit in any other location.
Nevertheless, first timers at the park and even long time customers, like the Kornspun family, find nothing to complain about.