Ipswich Turf Club operations manager George Musat and his wife Karyn Sutton. Picture: Claire Power
Ipswich Turf Club operations manager George Musat and his wife Karyn Sutton. Picture: Claire Power

Turf club’s new phase draws overseas interest

THE man helping to spearhead Ipswich Turf Club’s emergence from the Covid-19 shutdown has experience working on some of the world’s biggest hotels and cruise ships, but there is no place he would rather be.

Boasting many years working in hospitality for the likes of the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman resort, Marriott Hotels Fiji and Customs House Brisbane, George Musat recently answered the call from Ipswich Turf Club for a new operations manager after deciding he wanted to come back to Australia.

He will now lead the Turf Club and its new facilities as they prepare to welcome back members of the general public for the first time since coronavirus restrictions went into full swing.

While this year’s Ipswich Cup had to be called off, the Turf Club remains positive about its prospects for the remainder of the year.

“I have been very busy planning and structuring in the opening few weeks,” Mr Musat said.

“The sports bar is ready to go and so is the function space.

“We are hoping to open on the weekend of July 11, with the family restaurant to open a week after that.

“Everybody is excited about moving on to the next chapter.”

Mr Musat and wife Karyn, a former Ipswich City Council employee, married 15 years ago and have two young children, with the family having just returned to the Ipswich suburb of Eastern Heights.

“We have a beautiful house in Eastern Heights that is 115 years old. We like the history of Ipswich,” Mr Musat said.

“Karyn and I made the decision to return home and I was looking for work in Ipswich. I thought this was a great opportunity.”

Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said Mr Musat’s experience was already proving valuable.

“The appointment is a positive story among Covid-19 and results from the ability of racing to continue over the past few months,” Mr Kitching said.

“George is showing extensive experience, knowledge and customer service skills, which will well serve the Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre upon opening at the Turf Club in the next couple of months when allowed.”

The $24.8 million redevelopment at the Turf Club included a new function centre with jockey rooms and a dedicated media centre.

After extensive negotiations, a new carpark and tie-up stalls were also added to the redevelopment.

Ipswich Turf Club operations manager George Musat and his wife Karyn Sutton. Picture: Claire Power
Ipswich Turf Club operations manager George Musat and his wife Karyn Sutton. Picture: Claire Power

“We have a beautiful house in Eastern Heights that is 115 years old. We like the history of Ipswich,” Mr Musat said.

“Karyn and I made the decision to return home and I was looking for work in Ipswich. I thought this was a great opportunity.”

Turf Club general manager Brett Kitching said Mr Musat’s experience was already proving valuable.

“The appointment is a positive story among COVID-19 and results from the ability of racing to continue over the past few months,” Mr Kitching said.

“George is showing extensive experience, knowledge, and customer service skills which will well serve the Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre upon opening at the Turf Club in the next couple of months when allowed.”

The $24.8 million redevelopment at the Turf Club included a new function centre with jockey’s rooms and a dedicated media centre.

After extensive negotiations, a new car park and tie-up stalls were also added to the redevelopment.