New Executives Named at Fair Grounds

Churchill Downs names two new executives at Fair Grounds.

Austin Miller and Eric Halstrom have been appointed president and vice president of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, parent company Churchill Downs Inc. announced Oct. 27. Halstrom additionally was named general manager of racing.

Miller previously served as vice president and general manager of slots and off-track betting operations at Fair Grounds. In September 2008, he absorbed responsibility for the facility’s racing operation after the departure of former president Randy Soth.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am both honored and excited to continue my leadership of the outstanding employees of Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots,” said Miller in a news release. “With the start of our 2008-09 racing season and the opening of our permanent slots facility near, there’s a great deal to anticipate, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it and continuing my work with the leadership team at Churchill Downs Incorporated.”
Miller joined CDI in May 2007 from Harrah’s New Orleans, where he served as vice president of gaming operations. He has also held management and senior executive positions with Grand Casinos, Harrah’s and Caesars, and worked in entertainment and professional sports through affiliations with Mid-America Festivals, Champps Entertainment and the Minnesota Strikers of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Miller holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
Halstrom comes to his new position with 15-plus years of experience in the racing business, including the previous nine years with Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., where he most recently served as vice president of racing and simulcasting operations.
“I look forward to working to take Fair Grounds racing to a new level,” said Halstrom in the release.  “With the purse supplements this winter from gaming, I am confident we can achieve that objective.  It is a tremendous opportunity for me professionally, and I am anxious to work with the Fair Grounds team in my new capacity.”
Prior to his most recent position, Halstrom worked at Canterbury as director of mutuels, and from 1995 to 1997 was employed by Churchill Downs Management Co. as director of Indiana OTB operations and as the general manager of CDI’s Fort Wayne OTB. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program based in Tucson, Ariz., and holds a degree from Minnesota State University. Halstrom will report to Miller and will begin his new duties effective Nov. 7.