Granted there was no live harness racing, but the Big M is absolutely cavernous, to say the least, and outside of The Pub, there really was not a lot of action anywhere in the building, with less than 1,000 bettors (but plenty of tellers) on hand for an extensive prep stakes simulcast card. I sat with Red Rock or Bust inside Terraces, which offers a great view of the track for live racing, and feasted on the much-ballyhooed $7.50 Roast Beef & Beer special - definitely not worth a special trip.
The existing building must cost a fortune to run between the utilities and staffing, and Mr. Gural's plan for a scaled down facility is an obvious must. Of course the first step to achieving this seems to involve concessions from the tellers' union, which definitely has a screw loose in light of its rejection last week of a wage-cut proposal. However, based on this story from The Record's John Brennan, maybe the light bulb has finally turned on for the tellers union leadership that negotiations are better than unemployment. I certainly hope that cooler heads prevail and that, for the benefit of all parties involved (including the harness horseplayers), an accord can be reached.
It will be interesting to watch how things shake out over the next few weeks.