Harrah's Exec Named Fair Grounds President

Fair Grounds president Austin Miller will become president of Calder.

An executive with the Harrah’s gaming company has been hired to run Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots as part of a management shuffle by Churchill Downs Inc.

CDI announced April 20 that Timothy "Tim" W. Bryant will succeed Austin Miller at the New Orleans racetrack and gaming facility. As part of the management changes, Miller is assuming the duties as president of Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens, Fla. Tom O’Donnell, the Calder president who oversaw the building of Calder’s casino and poker facilities, is leaving the company.

According to the announcement from CDI, Bryant has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry, most recently as vice president of operations and finance for Harrah’s. He will also be a senior vice president of CDI.

"We are extremely grateful for the amazing job Tom has done transforming our culture at Calder as we developed our racetrack into a casino, poker, and racing entertainment facility," Bill Carstanjen, CDI’s chief operating officer said of O’Donnell in a statement. "We are sorry to see him go, and we wish him only the very best as he finds that next great project that captures his imagination. We would be eager to work with Tom again should the right project arise."

"My arrangement with CDI was always that we’d look to put in place a new president once the facility was completed, opened, and operating." O’Donnell said in the release.

"Tim’s experience and capabilities in the gaming industry, along with his familiarity with the New Orleans market, makes him a perfect fit with Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots operation," Carstanjen said.