WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Greyhound racing was once the sixth most popular sporting event for both everyday people and celebrities.
On December 31, 2020 the Palm Beach Kennel Club held it's last race.
But at age 89, the club is not only still operating — it’s also expanding.
And there’s 40 new job opportunities for people wanting to contribute to its legacy as an entertainment destination.
Since 1932 over 50-million people have come through the gates of the Palm Beach Kennel Club. And at least three days a week you’ll find George Akl at the poker table.
"I mean how could you go wrong. You play a little bit and you might go home with some money," Akl said.
There’s also approximately 500 television monitors for simulcast wagering.
"Believe me, I’ve never been bored here," said Theresa Hume, Palm Beach Kennel Club director of publicity. "Some days there’s 20 to 30 things you can wager on."
Hume should know. She joins dozens of workers employed by the club for decades. Starting her career as a waitress in 1980 and climbing the ladder, she's now director of publicity and has seen the club remain an entertainment destination 365 days a year.
"If you’re looking for jobs in the evenings, during the day — or on the weekends, there’s a wide variety of jobs to be had here," Hume said. "It’s a fun place to work that’s competitive, conveniently located and always exciting."
WPTV got an exclusive look at the Paddock Room. The room previously served as the fine dining room for the club’s high rollers that on Thursday will officially serve as the area for live comedy performances and more family friendly events this fall and winter.
"We decided we wanted to live it up and kind of remind everybody that we're still open," said Alexis Barbish-Sommer, Palm Beach Kennel Club assistant general manager. "And with the tier seating we thought there's so many great opportunities we can do in here."
New additions include Comedy Nights in the Paddock Restaurant, Sports Card & Memorabilia Shows, the Big Dog & Winter Classic Poker Tournaments, Mutt Derby nights and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Del Mar simulcast.
"There’s not a bad seat in this house at all," Barbish-Sommer said. "It’s our hidden secret that we want everybody to know now."
So what’s needed now? 40 new workers.
”We have been very short staffed as of lately, so it really puts a strain on each different department and how we operate from day to day,” said Jeanette Roberts, Palm Beach Kennel Club director of human resources. “There’s a lot of competitive packages and it’s conducive to people looking for full-time and also part-time. We’re looking to hire immediately.”
The Palm Beach Kennel Club is conducting on-site interviews during a job fair Sept. 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Positions available include dealer, mutuel teller, lead money counter, maintenance helper, line cook, poker room host/hostess, cleaner, commissary, cashier, bartender, server (cocktail and dining) and bus person.
On-site interviews will take place on the second floor (near the terrace) of the Kennel Club located at 1111 N. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach, 33409. The club offers benefits, flexible hours, competitive pay and training.