Locally owned Legendary Man steers clear of the field to win the 2009 Coffs Harbour Gold Cup.
Locally owned Legendary Man steers clear of the field to win the 2009 Coffs Harbour Gold Cup. TREVOR VEALE

Half day off is a sure bet

ONE of the city's most enduring traditions is set to continue with Coffs Harbour City Council supporting a half-day public holiday on Coffs Gold Cup raceday.

Councillors voted to endorse the public holiday gazettal after an address to Thursday night's meeting by Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Russ Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson said the half-day public holiday had been observed for the past 40 years and was one of the reasons why the club had maintained its viability.

"The Gold Cup raceday makes up about 40% of our income, so if we didn't have the half-day public holiday the club would struggle," Mr Atkinson said.

Mr Atkinson said the club had about 300 full-time, part-time and casual employees and the local racing industry delivered about 400 jobs to the local economy.

"The cup draws about 8000 patrons each year and directly injects millions into the economy."

Cr Jennifer Bonfield asked Mr Atkinson what the club was doing to encourage families back to the Cup carnival.

"It seems to me that Cup day is now owned by 18-to-30-year-olds and all they seem to want to do is drink too much," Cr Bonfield said.

Mr Atkinson said the club held five race events each year which were pitched at families.

"At this year's Coffs Gold Cup we will again be encouraging families by allowing accompanied minors onto the course."