SBD/May 9, 2012/Facilities

Churchill Downs To Add "Mansion" Suite Featuring Private Bar, Dining Room

Mansion suite would have one of best views of racetrack at Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs Inc. Chair & CEO Robert Evans yesterday during a conference call unveiled more details for "The Mansion" suite at its flagship track, which Evans described as “the pinnacle of live sporting event experiences,” according to Eric Crawford of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. Evans “likened the souped-up suite to ‘a fabulous Southern mansion,’” and said that it “would have a library, sitting room, dining room, private bar, veranda, balcony and private entrance and elevator.” He added that it would have “the most compelling view" of the entire racetrack. Crawford notes although CDI “wanted to get the word out on this super suite (private invitations went out during Oaks and Derby), Churchill wouldn’t say where the mansion is going to be.” The reason “might well be that the space Evans is describing sounds an awful lot like the current Joe Hirsch Media Center on the sixth floor.” And it is possible “the track gurus didn’t want the first mention of their mansion to be a bunch of media types howling about being displaced.” Crawford: “But trying to repurpose some kind of existing suite as a 'mansion' just doesn’t do it for me. A really nice condo, maybe, but not a mansion. What’s more, hanging out in a place that used to be inhabited by slovenly sportswriters is hardly worthy of the name.” But like Millionaires Row at the track, the Mansion “does a have a Derby feel.” And, like most of sports, Derby officials “aren’t overly worried about us nonmillionaires” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/9). In Louisville, Gregory Hall notes the first public mention of “The Mansion” came from Evans “during a March investors’ call.” The project “would appear to the biggest renovation at the track" at least since the $4M installation of lights in '10. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer “welcomed the latest planned investment despite the lack of details.” Fischer in a statement said, “Enhancing the fan experience is a way for Churchill leadership to keep the track new and fresh -- and keep customers returning” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/9).
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