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Sunday, February 12, 2012

How do travelers who are unfamiliar with horseracing decide to visit a racetrack?

I know one thing - many racetracks don't make it easy for new customers to find them and that worries me. For instance, if you Google "Hawthorne Race Course" and click on the Google Map that comes up at the top of the search results, you get a big blank space with a lake and a pin labelled "Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders". So although Hawthorne has a web site, they are not working on their overall internet presence (as of today anyway, hopefully this is quickly fixed).

Similarly, I wrote a quick review on Tripadvisor.com of Busch Gardens in Tampa after a recent visit. After you submit a review the web site automatically emails to ask you to review more attractions in the same city, so I figured I'd give Tampa Bay Downs a nice review. Unfortunately this very popular travel site Tripadvisor.com has no idea about Tampa Bay Downs, so I'm waiting on them to tell me that Tampa Bay Downs meets their criteria as an "attraction", then they'll let me review it.

What in the world? I admit that as a small business I'm not too good at keeping up with my own internet presence, but Hawthorne and Tampa Bay Downs are big companies that should be able to keep up a little better than this. If you notice things that racetracks can do better, please join me in speaking up so we can all help our industry survive!

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