They’re gone … Drumbo reopens as a conference venue with more greyhound racing in the works

Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium was reopened as a conference and event venue as well as a racetrack after being bought out by a former employee.

COO and new owner John Connor said he would increase the number of races on the weekends after the takeover.

He bought the room a few months ago after it closed with the loss of 44 jobs, ending 11 years of activity.

Administrators said at the time that there were a number of factors behind their shutdown, including the increase in online betting, a lack of government funding and restrictive licensing laws here, as well as a drop in the number of clients and racing dogs.

Mr. Connor was an employee under the original management and worked as a race director.

The COO said: “We have only really raced on Saturday night since our summer opening, but we are increasing from this weekend. We have made the decision to do a slow, steady smooth launch. when we opened.

“Business has grown and we are now moving more into marketing and advertising to let people know that we are open.

“We are confident now and have spent a lot of time investing in our people and making sure we have the right operations.”

Mr Connor said he was told in January along with other staff that the company was into liquidation and would shut down

He said he and Nicholas Rose, now commercial director, had formed a company called Run with Passion, making a deal with the liquidators to purchase all assets, including racing equipment. However, Mr Rose said the amount paid for the assets and the amount invested could not be disclosed.

However, he said the reopening had received no public funding, saying horse racing in Northern Ireland as well as the greyhound racing industry in the Republic were all supported by public funds.

Mr Connor said: “We have reopened and renamed as a conference and events venue because we want to make sure that we are using the site that goes beyond racing, and that we diversify.”

They now have a total of 11 employees and have brought in a partner to manage the restaurant side of the business.

Mr Connor said he took a lean approach to their business model and that their priority was to make the company operate at a high level and efficiently before commercialization.

“We didn’t want to go into all the details. It was the right thing to do,” he said.

“We were in the process of finding our footing and investing in our people and now things have come together for everyone which is good.”

Mr Connor said they try to encourage different events like weddings, civil ceremonies and business breakfasts.

“We are ideally located for business breakfasts as this is an upscale property and very competitively priced compared to the city center. In addition, people can avoid downtown traffic and we have a parking lot that will facilitate more than 200 cars. ” he added.

There is only one more greyhound run left at NI, at Brandywell in Derry.

Former owners of Drumbo Park included Michael McAdam, who also owns the Movie House chain of theaters.

Mr McAdam said at the time that licensing laws also put an end to the Sunday Service events and lobbying at Stormont had not changed the situation.

Download the Belfast Telegraph app

Get quick and easy access to the latest news, sports, affairs and opinions from Northern Ireland with the Belfast Telegraph app.

Get it on Google Play

Next Students demonstrate at free speech conference

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.