DOWN Royal Racecourse Manager, Mike Todd, was hailed as the `Hospitality Hero of 2010' at a gathering of leaders in the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland on Wednesday October 20 in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.
Mike took over as General Manager of the Down Royal 14 years ago and during his tenure has taken the venue from a small, regional racecourse to one of the UK and Ireland's finest tracks.
It now hosts the NI Festival of Racing in November each year - a two day race meeting that plays host to some of Ireland's best National Hunt Racing. In 2008, Champion Chaser and Gold Cup winner Kauto Star claimed victory at the November Festival in the JNwine.com Champion Chase and he will be returning this year on Saturday November 6 in a bid to regain his title.
Mike also brought style, glamour and crowds to Down Royal with the
introduction of the Best
Dressed Competition, which boasts a prize fund of £13,500 for the N1 Festival of Racing this November.
During his tenure, Mike has grown the corporate market at the racecourse to over 10,000 guests annually. Last year, 2009, he oversaw the completion of the £4m re-development of Down Royal, which had been 10 years in the planning. The project included a new hospitality pavilion, new entrance and turnstiles and a renovation of the existing public facilities.
The Hospitality Hero award is presented annually at the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation Gala Ball. Making the presentation, Emma Cowan, Editor of Hospitality Review magazine, said: "Mike Todd has made a real, vital and lasting contribution to Northern Ireland hospitality, tourism and, of course, to the sport that is his passion — horse-racing."