Weekly Game Spotlight: Sun God

Complete with a compelling mix of fresh design and deep levels of gameplay, Bally’s introduces their newest hit game Sun God. This hot new game boasts a wheel bonus feature which awards players with free spins, free games or a progressive jackpot! Plus, winning never looked better with the hip new Curve platform that puts a hot new face on gaming. The new curved design and digital readouts make this machine a stand out. If style is your thing, this is one game you won’t want to miss!

The first of three exciting features of the game is the wheel bonus feature. In this side game players will spin for three or more scattered sun symbols to be awarded up to 15 free games, credits, or even a jackpot! Thats not all, Sun God employs two Free games to keep players warmed up. Plus, free games award players 2 times their total bet! And, that’s not all. On the top screen, free-game players will work to unlock up to 12 sun symbols that will turn into wilds on the last free game spin. Players will get a second chance for wilds as well with a second free game that randomly disperses wilds. That’s two free games and two chances to win!

Come out to Hoosier Park Racing and Casino to experience a new generation of gaming technology and the thrill of heating up with Sun God. Also, be sure to check back here weekly for more hot game profiles and our new “Meet the Team” series.

Meet Todd Berendji – Director of Casino Operations

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.

Hoosier Park Grabs 3 ” Best Of” Awards

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.

Hoosier Park Leaves Economic Mark on County

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

Tourism has become big business in Madison County and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is the star attraction.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report from the Anderson/Madison County Visitors & Convention Bureau, which looked at the economic impact of the tourism and travel industry here in 2008 and 2010.

Among the report’s key findings were that:

Tourism and travel contributed nearly $506 million to the local economy in 2010.
A total of 3,821 jobs exist here because of the industry.
Nearly one-third of them are high-wage earners, professionals, technicians, managers, sales and construction jobs.
Tourism-generated jobs provided more than $68.6 million in wages to Madison County workers in 2010, compared to $62.9 million in 2008.
More than 3.9 million people made Madison County a tourism destination in 2010, compared to 2.2 million in 2008, the year when the casino opened.
Tourism generated $22.9 million in revenue for county and municipal governments in 2010, compared to $14.8 million in 2008.
The report, prepared by Certec Inc., a market research company based in Versailles, Ky., concluded that “tourism impacts all sectors of the local economy.”

“The takeaway is that there has been an accelerated rate of change in tourism and its impact on economic development,” and George Vinson, incoming president of the visitors bureau board of directors.

Ralph Day, executive director of the visitors bureau, said the 2008 and 2010 study years were chosen specifically to look at the impact a casino would have at Hoosier Park.

“It has really made Anderson a destination,” Day said.

And Hoosier Park has been a terrific corporate citizen, he added.

Since the casino opened in June 2008, the complex has averaged 3.5 million visitors a year, said Grant D. Scharton, Hoosier Park’s director of public relations He also noted that the Indianapolis Business Journal has named it the Indianapolis area’s most popular tourist attraction.

“Hoosier Park Racing and Casino is very pleased with the response in the central Indiana region and the tourists who come and visit the casino,” he said.

Tourism and community amenities such as Hoosier Park are an essential component of economic development efforts, said Rob Sparks, executive director of the Corporation for Economic Development.

“I think that tourism is a really important part of branding our community,” he said.