The Cairns Jockey Club is all set to commence its long-awaited expansion after the club’s major annual race meets in August and September.
The expansion comes on the back of a grant from Racing Queensland and will see the addition of a 900m2 fully air-conditioned and catered corporate lounge facility overlooking the track.
Cairns Jockey Club General Manager John Cameron said the new facility will open up a wide range of opportunities for the club and the greater Cairns region.
“As it is now, the racing industry contributes $33 million to the Cairns region’s economy in any one year, and we’re seeing it continue to grow at a faster rate than possibly any other club in Queensland in terms of turnover and improvements,” John said.
“We wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect to be contributing closer to $40 million when our expansion is complete.”
He said the facility will also offer a versatile option for events in the region.
“In the Cairns market there are not a lot of areas this large that are air conditioned and that allow for an extensive outdoor area to be utilised as well as the indoor facility. We hope to be able to use the facility 52 weeks of the year.
“We also continue to invest in the garden areas and have become a primary consideration for weddings.”
John said the expansion comes at the end of a very long and enduring wait for the club, which is now in its 110th year.
“It’s been in the works for a long time, but it’s only through the help of Racing Queensland that it’s become a reality.
“We have a very good team with volunteers and management led by Tom Hedley, and that combination of working with the community is delivering some very positive outcomes for us.
“The committee and management are hugely excited about what can happen in the future by securing a positive outcome for both the Cairns Amateurs and the Cairns Jockey Club.”
“The Club aims to elevate its profile as both a racing and functions and event centre”.
The expansion is expected to begin in September once final approvals are complete.