NYRA CEO Kay gets $250,000 bonus
SARATOGA SPRINGS>> New York Racing Association has approved a $250,000 performance bonus for President and CEO Chris Kay, who joined the firm July 1, 2013.
Kay was hired at a base salary of $300,000 with an opportunity to earn the bonus based on achievement of predetermined incentives set by NYRA Chairman Dr. David Skorton and NYRAs Compensation Committee, chaired by Vincent Tese.
Published reports say Kay
also received a 3 percent raise in addition to his
bonus, meaning his
total pay exceeds $550,000.
Wait said Skorton had final say about whether Kay
should receive the $250,000 bonus, after reviewing recommendations from the boards Compensation Committee.
could not be reached for comment regarding specific requirements for achieving the bonus.
Prior to hiring Kay, NYRA had been without a CEO since May 2012 when Charles Hayward was let go.
Kay, a 61-year-old attorney, was chosen for the NYRA job last year from a field of more than 100 candidates.
Before joining NYRA, he was most recently chief operating officer of the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, and previously held the same job for Toys R Us, a Fortune 500 company.
Kay spent considerable time at Wednesdays meeting, held at Saratoga National Golf Club, outlining various accomplishments during his first year on the job.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Noting that the reforms and initiatives that we have collectively implemented are beginning to generate real, tangible results, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) CEO and President Chris Kay delivered a positive and forward-looking report at this mornings Board of Directors meeting.
Kay welcomed the organizations newest Board Member, Marc Holliday.
Kay noted that it has been nearly two years since a confluence of events led New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to direct the formation of a temporary, publically controlled body - the NYRA Reorganization Board - tasked with transforming the New York Racing Association into a model of accountability, efficiency and sustainability.
Kay outlined an overview of the actions taken by the Board of Directors and the management team in partnership with the State of New York and the Gaming Commission since that time; all in a continuing, successful effort to safeguard the integrity of business and racing operations, while growing the sport to attract a new generation of horseplayers and fans.
outlined the success of the 2014 spring/summer Belmont Meet.
Despite running two fewer days, total and on-track year-over-year handle and attendance increased at the 2014 Belmont Park spring/summer meet, which ran 54 days from May 1 through July 13.
All-sources handle on NYRA races was $592 million, up 4 percent from $569.6 million in 2013.
On-track handle on NYRA races was $84.6 million, up 8 percent from $78.5 million in 2013.
reviewed the success of the organizations two must-see events at Belmont Park.
In addition to Belmont Stakes Day, which set records for handle and featured a revamped, enhanced race card featuring 10 graded stakes races with $8 million in purses, the New York Racing Association
debuted a second such event over the 4th of July weekend -Stars & Stripes Day.
With $3.25 million in purses and five stakes races, this festival featured an enhanced racing card, in addition to family-friendly activities and a food truck showcase.
Belmont attendance for those three days rose 33 percent, and total handle rose 18 percent over last year.
provided a status update on this years Saratoga Meet, which is off to a strong start.
Through the first week of the Meet, on-track attendance is up 10 percent over last year, on-track handle is up five percent over last year, and per-capita spending on food, beverages and other incidentals is up 19 percent over last year.
recognized Stewarts Shops for its new, successful partnership which resulted in the sale of season passes more than quadrupling over the previous year.
provided an update on the organizations preparations for re-privatization by 2015.
This includes the development of a three-year financial plan and potential utilization of real estate assets.
noted that progress is continuing in this area, with further updates to be provided to the board in the coming months.