Bet on some ponies at the Del Mar Race Track
Living in southern California, it’s no surprise that summer is my favorite season. One of the reasons for my love for the sun and outdoors is the Del Mar Race Track, which is within an eye shot of the Pacific Ocean. As soon as you step foot into the paddock, there’s excitement, cigar smoking, beer drinking, money wagering, beautiful people, and goosebumps. Not because of the ocean air, but because it’s unlike anything else in Southern California.
This year’s race track season starts July 20 and closes September 7 and promises the excitement of years past. If you’re looking for a corporate hospitality locale to host your next event, or just want to take out your clients for a high-energy afternoon while betting on some horses, I highly recommend the track and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Del Mar first opened its gates in 1937 and Bing Crosby was there to greet guests. Today, Del Mar is known around the world for its race track where “the surf meets the turf.”
CORPORATE OFFERINGS AND PRICING
I can’t think of a better way to take out your employees, or even your clients, for a corporate hospitality event than with an afternoon of betting on some horses, with a cigar in one hand and a dirty martini in the other. Whether you’re taking out a group of your best buds, or treating the entire company to an afternoon at the track, Del Mar has it all.
I’d recommend renting out the Seaside Tropical Cabana for large private parties. If your clients or shareholders are in town for the week and want to experience the real summer in San Diego, rent out a skyroom or luxury suite for some exclusive partying at the track.
“Some of the other options for hospitality that exist at the track would be either the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant or the Stretch Run Grill, a pair of restaurants that sit side-by-side and overlook the track itself,” Mac McBride, Director of Media for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club says. “Their tables for four are among the most prized seats at the track each day, offering full dining and drinking options as well as wonderful views of the races.” Or, become a member of the Turf Club and you’ll have your own exclusive tables and facilities.
MAKE AN EVENING OUT OF IT
The Del Mar Race Track is home to an amazing summer music series for some sunset concerts. Past performances include such bands as Weezer, ZZ Top, Billy Idol, Ziggy Marley, Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. Hollywood socialites and all-star athletes also make appearances throughout the race season so don’t be surprised if you’re bumping elbows with the stars.
Among the Hollywood celebrities who have visited the track for a day at the races over the past few years have been Kevin Costner, Richard Dreyfuss, Uma Thurman, Bo Derek, Henry Winkler, and the entire cast from “Entourage,” who shot one of their shows at the track.
Recent sports celebrities who have also attended are Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Drew Brees and Aaron Rogers, NFL MVP Ladanian Tomlinson, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, boxers “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., professional golfers Craig Stadler, Ricky Barnes and Paul Azinger, and sports radio talk show host Jim Rome.
BRING YOUR MONEY, HONEY
We asked McBride about gambling trends with recent economic turmoil. “Betting has declined to some degree in light of the ongoing recession, but racing continues to draw fans and funds, both on site and at the more than 1,000 satellite wagering locations that Del Mar draws bets from in the Western Hemisphere,” he says. “Last year Del Mar’s bet total for its 37-day season was $448,932,160, an average of $12,133,302 per day.”
We also asked McBride about any horses and jockeys he’s favoring this season.
“At this point it is hard to know which particular horse will be coming to Del Mar,” he says. “But we do know that our $1-million TVG Pacific Classic on August 28 will attract a large field of some of the nation’s best horses. We also know that the new crop of two-year-olds – the future stars of the game – will make their debuts at Del Mar this summer. The two-year-old program at the seaside track shines the light on stars-to-be every year and this one should be no different.”
McBride also says they have one of the best young riding colonies in the country scheduled to compete at Del Mar. “Joel Rosario, Raphael Bejarano and Joe Talamo are three of the most gifted riders in the world and they’ll be doing their thing at the track this summer. Throw in aces like Garrett Gomez, Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, David Flores, Martin Pedroza, Patrick Valenzuela and Corey Nakatani and you know you’re going to see the best-of-the-best on horseback during our seven-week summer stand.”
I’ve got my wages all set to go. Time to go bet on some ponies!
For more information, visit http://www.dmtc.com/
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.