Major investment by RACE Inc in new facility
9 June 2008
Major investment by RACE Inc in new facility at Awapuni
The new $8.7 million Awapuni Function Centre and stand, the first major investment in facilities for racegoers undertaken by RACE Inc, is to be opened on Saturday 14 June at the Manawatu Racing Club’s Manawatu Steeplechase meeting.
RACE Board Chairman, Douglas Duncan says while the multi-purpose facility will help grow the Club’s race-day business, it is designed to accommodate a host of other functions and events.
“The RACE Group has a vision as to how it wants to continue to expand its business at Awapuni for the benefit of both its industry stakeholders and the wider Manawatu community.
“The Awapuni Function Centre is the first purpose-built racing facility built since the Ellerslie Function Centre opened its doors in 1990”, says Douglas Duncan.
“As well as providing race-goers with a range of quality dining options while viewing racing action, the Function Centre is set to become one of the country’s premier venues, specialising in corporate and private functions for groups of 50 to 600 people.
Over two floors, the impressive 2835m2 building has superb natural light and panoramic views of the racecourse, with a wide balcony surrounding two sides of the upper level. A large open-plan foyer links both floors of the new facility with the main Members Stand.
The main function room on the first floor - Silks Lounge - can accommodate up to 600 guests seated at dining tables or 1,000 seated theatre-style. The room has no pillars to obscure vision and the entire floor can be ‘blacked out’ for data show presentations. Spaces for smaller functions or conference break-out sessions can be created through sectioning with floor to ceiling curtaining or utilising the seven other available lounges which include the three new corporate suites adjacent to the Silks Lounge.
The ground floor is a public area and will be known as the Terrace Lounge. It is an ideal space for a range of functions and activities including trade shows, a venue for cocktail parties or pre-dinner drinks.
The ground floor facility also contains the Club’s administration and catering offices, reception area, a large commercial kitchen with an internal elevator to the first floor kitchen above.
The Manawatu Racing Club has conducted its meetings at Awapuni since 1903. More recently the Marton, Rangitikei and Feilding Jockey Clubs shifted to Awapuni and joined forces with Manawatu to become part of the successful RACE (Inc) Group, which now includes the Wellington Racing Club at Trentham and the Otaki-Maori Racing Club.
“Racing competes with a host of other entertainment options, and must provide quality facilities expected by racegoers.
“As one of New Zealand’s premier racing venues, the investment by RACE in the Awapuni Function Centre is sure to prove a winner for racing and the community,” says Douglas Duncan.