Todd Berendji is Hoosier Park’s director of casino operations and unofficially titled “back-office entertainer”. When he’s not hard at work managing the latest in gaming technology he serves up consistent comic relief for those of us behind the scenes.
As Todd always says, “Your happiness is my happiness.” A proponent of enjoying life to the fullest, he keeps the atmosphere positive in even the most stressful situations. Todd is not your typical executive and he prefers it that way. You won’t find him in a stuffy office filled with accolades, but rather one with a Ben & Jerry’s bumper sticker that reads, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” In fact, you generally will not find Todd in his office at all. He is much more comfortable out with his team making decisions from eye level and spreading good energy. Whether it’s a practical joke, prank or just a good conversation, Todd strives to uplift those around him. Todd says, “Watching team members laugh, have fun and entertain guests is my greatest reward.” He brings out the extrovert in others as well and now receives his fair share of office pranks in return.
However, a director position at Hoosier Park isn’t all fun and games. With more than 2,000 slot machines and e-table games, there is always work to be done. Todd has brought in many new cutting-edge technologies as well, making Hoosier Park on par with the best casinos in the world.
While he thoroughly enjoys his work here at Hoosier Park, he had to earn his right to be crowned back office entertainer. Before Todd was even born, his career path was set in motion. His father was a prominent hotel and casino designer in Las Vegas and had a lot of influence on Todd as he grew up. His father did not plan for him to follow in his footsteps and had actually put down a deposit for him to attend law school. As Todd came of age, he decided that the gaming industry was a better fit for him and joined a management training program for casino resorts. Todd quickly caught on and soon found himself in the heart of Las Vegas.
Some of his biggest career achievements came at that time when he assisted in the openings of The Mirage, Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau. While Todd thrived within the large corporations, he enjoyed the humbler culture he found with Wynn.
His experience opening casinos and his preference for a more grassroots company is what ultimately landed him in Indiana at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. “The culture that has been cultivated and the closeness of the executive team reminded me a lot of Wynn Resorts when they were still relatively small and still growing: very family like and close,” Todd recollected.
Todd’s experience proved beneficial with the successful opening of the casino and its management to date. While he has had a lot of great experiences and met many good friends along the way, Todd Berendji is happy to call Hoosier Park Racing & Casino his home.
This Veteran’s Day Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will be doing more than ever to pay tribute to our U.S. armed forces. With many employees and friends of the company having served in the military, Hoosier Park plans to give back throughout the holiday weekend. A proud supporter of Indiana veterans and national soldiers alike, Hoosier Park will be offering discounts, free food opportunities and a very special all-day trip to the Veteran’s Day Memorial Service and Parade in Downtown Indianapolis.
With a military ID, our esteemed veterans can enjoy $5 in free slot play deposited on their Club Centaur account as well as 25% off at the Big Deli and Prime Harvest Buffet all holiday weekend. Then on Sunday, November 11th, a complimentary breakfast will be offered in the Big Deli from 7 to 10 am. Hoosier Park will then host a special Veterans Day Tribute on the casino floor at 11 am following breakfast.
The annual Veteran’s Day Memorial Service and Parade in Downtown Indianapolis is on Saturday, November 10th. The event begins at 10:30 am on the north steps of the Indiana War Memorial with a Musical Prelude by the 38th Division Band of the Indiana National Guard. This display of patriotism will include music from World War I, II, and the Korean War eras. To conclude the Memorial Service, the Indiana Air National Guard will perform a fly-over display just above the Indiana War Memorial. At 11:45 am, the Veteran’s Day Memorial Parade will commence. More than 80 military units will parade through Downtown Indianapolis from Michigan and Pennsylvania Streets to Meridian and North Streets. This Veteran’s Day event is sure to be one to remember and Hoosier Park aims to make sure no soldier misses the day’s great events.
At 8:30 am Saturday, a bus will be stationed outside of the casino to provide roundtrip transportation for those wishing to enjoy the service. With a military ID, Hoosier Park will provide the transportation and a free box lunch for each veteran and their guest. After the conclusion of the parade, the bus will be waiting to return the group back to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. There is no purchase necessary and there are no costs associated with this half-day event. Pay respects to our fallen soldiers and give thanks to our enlisted with this all-inclusive trip to the Veteran’s Day memorial Service and Parade this November.
On July 29th, our Indy Boys in Blue descended on Anderson University’s campus. Along with the one hundred man roster, coaches, staff and trainers took up temporary residency here in Anderson. With the many companies in the area showing their support, there was a sense of excitement in the air as you drove down Scatterfield to the playing field. This is the third year Hoosier Park has participated in the camp festivities and were even selected as an Official Super Celebration Site for last year’s Big Game in February. Hoosier Park’s support of Indianapolis football is now in full swing. For this year’s camp, Hoosier Park welcomed Big Blue fans with “Fan Appreciation Days.” During camp, guests of the park enjoyed special deals on food and beverages ranging from yard long beers to half-priced buffets as well as a koozie giveaway. The camp celebration culminated with a premium season ticket giveaway on Friday, August 17th. Charles Agnew of Anderson took home the coveted prize. At Hoosier Park, we are proud supporters of our Boys in Blue and wish them “Luck” this season.
In recent history, there has been a trend of classic rock bands reuniting to bring the songs we all know and love back to the live stage. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is no stranger to these types of acts with bands such as Foreigner and Air Supply recently headlining our Summer Music Track Series. On August 31st, Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be here rocking the Summer Music Track II stage with a sound straight out of 1971. Though Creedence Clearwater Revisited does not have rights to the name “Revival,” they have literally revived a sound we all remember rocking out to. Many other bands have reunited with new members only to lose their unique sound in the process. Creedence Clearwater Revisited may have changed their logo, but the sound is as intact as it has ever been. The two original members, Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, are familiar with the standards they set long ago and deliver an authentic show. Concert guests can expect CCR Hall of Fame hits like “Proud Mary,” “Suzie Q” and “Born on a Bayou” to name a few. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is sure to be an unforgettable show that you won’t want to miss. Join us for a trip down memory lane as we celebrate the “Revival” of a timeless band. Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com or the Hoosier Park Box Office inside Shelby’s Gifts in the Terrace.
Here at Hoosier Park, we are excited about our new and innovative slot tournament system known as “TournEvent.” “TournEvent” is a bank of interactive slot machines networked together for a seamless tournament experience. The system requires an active play style that will test even the most seasoned of slot players. In addition, the system allows paperless operation and a running database of results. This technology is not only fun, but also streamlines the tournament process making it more enjoyable for guests and operators alike.
The system began operation in July with the start of the “Wanna Be A Slot Star” series. Since its unveiling, “TournEvent” has been one of the more popular destinations on our property as it is just as much fun to watch as it is to play. The “Wanna Be A Slot Star” series will continue through August 29th each Sunday and Wednesday. Each day, the tournament consists of thirty five rounds of two minutes each with an eight minute standby for seating. The winner of each individual round receives $50.00 in casino cash and the tournament high score winner receives $1,000. Signing up for a tournament is easy and FREE. Simply check in at Club Centaur Rewards with your player’s card and make your way to the tournament area ten minutes prior to your designated session. When you arrive at the tournament area, simply look for your name and take a seat at the corresponding machine.
Final preparations are underway for the 19th season of Standardbred racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The 80-day meet begins Tuesday, March 27, offering five days of racing per week through Saturday, July 14. Post time Tuesday through Saturday is set at 5:30 p.m. EST.
Hoosier Park will allow horsemen to ship in to use the racetrack beginning Monday, March 5. The track and paddock area will be open from 8 am until noon for ship-in training through Saturday, March 10. Track usage by horsemen during this time will be allowed weather permitting.
Stalls have been allotted for the upcoming season by Hoosier Park Race Secretary Kevin Mack. Horsemen who have been granted stalls for the meet may begin moving in equipment and setting up stalls Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11. Horses may begin moving into the barn area beginning Monday, March 12. Dormitories will be available for occupancy at that time.
A total of four qualifying days will be offered prior to opening night Tuesday, March 27. Qualifiers will be held each Wednesday and Saturday at 10 am. The first qualifier is set for Wednesday, March 14. A special evening qualifier is slated for Wednesday, March 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Entries for opening night will be taken in the racing office Thursday, March 22. The box will close for entries each race day at 1 p.m.
The $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational will be the featured event Saturday, June 2. Also, the meet will conclude with Hoosier Champions, offering more than $1 million in purse money and featuring finals of the Indiana Sires Stakes. The evening will also be part of the national Back To The Track promotion organized by the U.S. Trotting Association.
For more information on the upcoming Standardbred meet at Hoosier Park, go to www.hoosierpark.com.
Recent Article in The Herald Bulletin-
Those at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino have always considered themselves the best of a variety of things and Madison County residents agreed, voting it the best buffet, live music venue and place for entertainment.
“We look at Hoosier Park as having many facets for entertainment,” said Grant D. Scharton, Hoosier Park’s director of public relations. “Of course there is the casino, but there is also the great racing product, a variety of dining options and then the concerts. It is centrally located and offers a wide variety of entertainment options — multiple ways to win big, socialize with friends and have a thrilling night out. There are entertainment options for everybody.”
Scharton said that variety is why he thinks Hoosier Park was chosen for the third year in a row for the best place for entertainment in the awards.
Hoosier Park consistently brings in some of the greatest names in entertainment, he said, for both the summer music track concert series and the concerts in the Terrace Showroom including upcoming Air Supply and Wilson Phillips, Scharton said. He said information about the upcoming summer concert series will be available in the next month on the website at www.hoosierpark.com.
During last year’s summer series, more than 30,000 people came to Hoosier Park for the shows and the facility received more than 3.5 million visits.
The Prime Harvest Buffet stands out because of not only the quality product offered but also the friendly service of the staff.
Rudy McMillan, director of food and beverage at Hoosier Park, said the quality of the product has remained high and prices low. The seafood nights — Friday and Saturday — and Sunday brunch offer a variety of different items including crab, prime rib, fresh sushi and a chocolate fountain.
“You could have all the quality food in the world, but if you don’t have the great quality staff you can’t go any further,” he said.
Scharton said the combination of good quality food and a great team makes the buffet a star.
With more than 300,000 visitors to the buffet in 2011, assistant director of food and beverage Amy Whitler said a “great, smiling team” is key.
In addition to the $5.95 lunch buffet offered, Hoosier Park offered its club members 55 and over a 55-cent buffet and had 1,650 take advantage of that special offer, Scharton said.
Opening December 15 – Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB – Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s newest dining and entertainment hot spot right in the heart of downtown Indianapolis!
This new and exciting destination will wow guests with a top-notch American grille, a 21st Century pub featuring a one-of-a-kind LED bar top and a Las Vegas-style race wagering lounge. Guests will also enjoy ha…ssle-free parking via a connected garage and valet service.
The Winner’s Circle will encompass a bold and unique atmosphere, classic and innovative flavors, non-stop excitement and unbeatable customer service!
Just steps from Conseco Field House and Circle Center Mall, the Winner’s Circle is conveniently located downtown on Pennsylvania between Washington and Market Streets.
Color, motion and intense action are what make this pub a unique and entertaining gathering place for all. Hand-crafted beers, premium liquor and signature cocktails will be accentuated by hi-definition televisions and leaderboards. This hot spot will be booming with action!
This top-notch American grille will make its mark on downtown Indianapolis with classic and innovative flavors complemented by the beauty and richness of American horse racing. With an expansive menu and first class service, entertainment never tasted so good!
Get ready for a new dimension of race wagering. This energetic, Las Vegas-style lounge will feature a gigantic media wall with more than 25 flat screen monitors bringing the intensity and action of horse racing to life. Guests will enjoy modern, personal betting stations equipped with individual lamps and monitors. Plus, guests will have easy access to the benefits and rewards of Club Centaur.