Weekly Game Spotlight: The King of Pop

Hoosier Park Racing and Casino is all about providing guests with unforgettable thrills, and no one knows a “thriller” better than the legendary Michael Jackson. The game’s designer, Bally’s, has left no stone unturned delivering one of the most epic electronic games to hit the casino industry, The King of Pop. This game that has it all – including many unique features. Bally’s is a perennial powerhouse of game design that has brought you these great new titles: The Sun God, The Moon Goddess and Money Wheel.

The only thing better than the thrill of winning, is the thrill of winning while listening timeless soundtrack! The King of Pop brings all the excitement of live slot machine action plus Michael Jackson hits to keep you grooving into your next jackpot. With comfortable seating and a built in sound system enjoy the best sights and sounds electronic games have to offer.

The King of Pop did not become one of the latest and greatest with good music alone. With a collection of mini-games and added features this machine has plenty to keep you intrigued. Alongside a turntable multiplier bonus spin feature, King of Pop breaks the mold with two themed free game awards: Beat It and Smooth Criminal. With these game specific features, players can cash in on up to ten free games. Throw in the chance of either Moonwalk or Stackable Wilds and the best just got better.

Come out to Hoosier Park Racing and Casino to experience a new generation of gaming technology and the thrill of winning big with The King of Pop. 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.

Slot Tournaments Get A Facelift

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.

Put your skills to the test against the ten other players in your group and several hundred other players throughout the day. If you are lucky enough to set the high score, it will remain on the digital leader board until bested. In the event your high score holds up throughout the tournament, you will receive $1,000 and the title of ”Slot Star.” Make to ask about “TournEvent” during your next visit and take a shot at having your name at the top.

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.