05/31/2012 5:05PM

Calder intends to charge backstretch workers rent for dorm rooms


MIAMI – Officials at Calder Racecourse announced Thursday that they will begin charging a fee of $5 per day per room (double occupancy) to residents currently residing in dormitory or cottage rooms located within the track’s barn area. The fee will go into effect as of June 14.

Calder also informed dorm residents and local horsemen Thursday that the rooms located above Barns 75 and 79 as well as the stalls within those barns have been deemed no longer suitable for occupancy and as a result must be vacated as of July 15 for “future demolition.”

Calder officials said that due to rising costs and declining parimutuel revenues, they are no longer able to provide the use of the rooms for free. They cited housing costs at the track to be estimated at $370,000 annually and that the intent of assessing room fees was to help offset those costs.

Officials also noted that a $200,000 restoration project of the rooms and bathroom facilities within the cottages is currently about halfway completed.

Calder officials declined further comment.

Officials of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association were upset over the track’s intention to charge rent and both eliminate dorm rooms and potentially demolish two barns during the course of the meet. The 2012 Calder racing season ends on Nov. 30.

“We believe the latest decision to demolish two barns and remove residents from the accompanying dorm rooms is in retaliation for the press release and notice to our membership that we circulated over the weekend about Calder’s intention to charge room rent,” said FHBPA president Phil Combest. “This whole issue of room rent is absurd, especially the manner in which they dropped it on us in the middle of the meet without any negotiation. The first we heard of it was at a meeting three weeks ago. They haven’t charged room rent here in 41 years and suddenly in June of a racing season they tell us they want a half-million dollars over the course of a year for rent.”

Combest said Gulfstream Park, by comparison, charges $700 per room over the course of its six-month meeting for dorm rooms that each contain a kitchen and bathroom. He said by comparison the rooms at Calder, which like at Gulfstream houses two workers apiece, are just “four walls and a window.”

“They are charging more money than any other track for the worst rooms in American racing,” said Combest.


pathagan More than 1 year ago
Typical CD policies. I've been to the Calder backstretch a few times and it is one of thE WORST in the country.. Once Hialeah gets TB dates, Calder will be relegated back to the 3rd tier track it really is.
Harvey Hochberg More than 1 year ago
Maybe they can put the money into a Turf Course drainage system,or a noose to hang themselves.
Brian Hochman More than 1 year ago
Pretty sad they have to charge $5.00 a day for double occupancy out houses...Churchill Downs inc & the like are basically the scum of the earth & would rob their own families for an extra dollar......Come check out the price of food at Arlington Park...G-R-E-E-D-Y
Bamb Ezzy More than 1 year ago
They are taking money away from literally the poorest people in the whole industry, when you add up all the hours they spend taking care of the horses, a lot of backstretch workers make less then minimum wage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This just in Calder will now charge $.10 to go into the bathrooms at the track and casino the logic behind this is this was how it was done 40yrs ago and people have not had to pay since.Think of all the money lost by not having to pay to use a restroom in the last 40yrs
michael k More than 1 year ago
This is capitalism. If you don't like it go back to third world country.
Bamb Ezzy More than 1 year ago
A lot of "third world countries" are a hell of a lot nicer to live in then America
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Your family is from where?
James Madden More than 1 year ago
your not of the human rase!!
Craig More than 1 year ago
CD Inc is complete joke, they already ruined Arlington Park with their new cost saving betting machines that make the original will pay boards located throughout building now unuseable. The tellers and workers are rudeest on earth. I hope this speeds up the inevitable demise of CDStink! Good riddance, good luck finding other work ypu deustchbags
Robert More than 1 year ago
This is whatis wrong with horse racing. Thet f**k everybody. Those Basrards that run Churchill should all drop dead, Screw the worker that is there motto. F@@K them
Carson Horton More than 1 year ago
The "business" of horse racing is UGLY! And always has been! The lowest wage workers are treated like indentured servants while horse owners are treated like kings and queens. Jockeys are easily the worst compensated professional athletes in American, especially if you take into consideration the level of danger and physical risk that they are subjected to on a daily basis. The vast majority of training operations barely eek out a living for the trainer and of course the majority of the front side workers earn the minimum wage. Meanwhile track owners and operators continue to run the sport into the ground with the complicity of regulatory agencies that see the sport as little more than a revenue generating mechanism for state government.
FloridaHorsemen More than 1 year ago
Carson--Very well said. The fact that governments have no idea of the economic impact of horse racing is a huge part of the problem. You're absolutely right--the vast majority of training operations are small businesses--something everyone says they're interested in "saving," but, when it comes to horse racing, they want to gouge to its fullest extent. A trainer with a small stable and a few employees can easily have an economic impact of hundreds of thousands a year. Mulitply that by the 1,500 or 1,800 or so horses at Calder (I guess that would be less now), and you can understand why horse racing in Florida has a $2.3 billion dollar a year impact on the statewide economy--this, in the face of this type of atrocious treatment, unfair taxation and a regulatory system that is clearly beholden to a few lobbyists (case in point--how did "pari-mutuel barrel racing" ever come to pass?? We know how, but that's another story).
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I heard that even Trinni is pissed!!!
Craig More than 1 year ago
Trinni would only owe 45.20 seconds of rent, cause thats as long as he can hang around for
Ivan More than 1 year ago
Do people like Mr. Brodsky, Mr. Evans, Mr. Mudd and specially Mr. Carstanjen who run CDI/Churchill and properties like Calder go to bed every night and get up every morning in their servant filled digs feeling that the material privileges they have rightfully earned make them so absolutely superior to other human beings and oblivious to the plight of the less economically privileged? People like Mr. Carstanjen whose personal history and success I always used as an inspiration are apparently as callous as others who have never experienced financial "tight nooses". By taking this merciless, ruthless and abusive step - you are soiling the CDI brand and establishing a very negative precedent: we might be able to make CDI stock grow a few pennies EVEN if IN THE PROCESS we are LITERALLY and FIGURATIVELY squeezing the last pennies out of our "modern day slave force"...SHAME! - SHAME!- SHAME CDI!!! I only wonder what people like Ambassador Farish might be thinking about this...