It’s go, go, go for the Hollywoodbets Durban July race

Florida Road getting ready for the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/ African News Agency (ANA)

Florida Road getting ready for the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 30, 2023


Durban — The heart of Durban entertainment and eateries on Florida Road has given the Hollywoodbets Durban July a thumbs up, saying “it is all systems go” for the much-anticipated horseracing event, which is known for eye-catching fashion, entertainment, drinks and food.

The business hot spots and restaurants in Florida Road said they were ready to serve visitors flocking to the area for the Hollywoodbets Durban July taking place on Saturday at Greyville Racecourse.

Next Chapter restaurant manager Nkosinathi Mahlangu said he had ordered more stock for the weekend and hired additional staff. Due to flexible trading hours he planned to provide transport for employees so that they are not inconvenienced by extra shift work.

“We are very prepared and ready for this coming big Durban calendar event, which is the Durban July. We know there will be more than usual customers that will flock to Florida Road, and our establishment is always the busiest during these big events,” Mahlangu said.

Capello manager Victor Dlamini said they had enough staff members to deal with the expected influx of customers this weekend, and they also beefed up security. He said they would have in-house DJs to provide clients with entertainment.

Bradley Hollis, manager at Butcher Boys restaurant, said they were always ready for such events, and because they are a family establishment they won’t be extending any operating hours nor have any special events lined up. He said they were excited to host the visitors in the city again.

Manager at AuthentiQ Bar & Restaurant, Sanele Zulu, said this would be his second year in the marquee called Halisi at the Greyville racecourse event. Halisi is a Swahili word for authentic.

“We are ready to represent the city very well and be great hosts,” he said.

Sean Hammond, from Dropkick Murphys’ bar and restaurant, said that it would be just a walk in the park because they are now more clued up with the ins and outs of the Durban July weekend.

“As much as we are thrilled and excited about the event, there’s little we are doing to go out of our way. We have enough stock and we’ll be using the same staff we have to give them a chance to make more money,” Hammond said.

KZN Tourism said the Hollywoodbets Durban July was a drawcard that brought people from across South Africa, and beyond, to Durban.

But more than the direct economic benefit, the event draws the world’s focus to the Zulu Kingdom, giving the destination immeasurable PR and destination coverage, which is invaluable, explained Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the event would attract tourists and generate employment, including casual jobs for the duration.

“As a result of this event, the City has the potential to experience a surge of demand for accommodation, transport, banking, restaurants and catering right through to entertainment and other tourism attractions. We are confident that tourism, retail and its value chains will benefit the most from this event,” the Durban Chamber said.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said all measures were in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable event. He said law enforcement agencies would be deployed to strategic areas to ensure the safety of patrons and residents.

“Approximately 100 metro police officers will be deployed around the Greyville area. In addition, metro police’s public order policing unit, which is trained in crowd control, is on high alert to ensure an incident-free event,” Kaunda said.

“The projections for the economic impact on eThekwini from the Durban July Experience are far-reaching. The event is expected to attract up to 48 000 attendees, amassing a R65 million direct spend, contributing R130 million to the GDP and creating 1 500 jobs,” Kaunda said.

The Hollywoodbets Durban July weekend promises loads of entertainment, with several events lined up. Some exciting productions that are linked to the event include the Fact Durban Rocks concert, the Mother of All Parties, Any Given Sunday, and the Durban July Township Experience where visitors can experience so much of what Durban has to offer.

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