Monday, February 7, 2011

Casino breaks ground, design work remains

Construction on what will become the seventh casino to carry the Horseshoe brand kicked off on Friday with a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Local and state officials and business and civic leaders celebrated with representatives of Rock Ohio Caesars at the Downtown, which by late 2012 will be the $400 million Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati.

Described as "elegant and conservative", the Horseshoe brand is a step below the luxury Caesars brand, which is applied to only four casinos in the world. But it's a step up from the 16 Harrah's-branded casinos, offering larger bets and slightly better odds.

The 354,000-square-foot Cincinnati location will feature a nearly 100,000-square-foot gaming floor, offering approximately 2,300 slot machines, 72 table games, a high-limits area, a World Series of Poker room, and a VIP Player's lounge.

The casino is also expected to include three street-side restaurants, a buffet restaurant, a food court, and a main-floor bar. Approximately 33,000-square-feet of multipurpose space will be available for business meetings and social events.

"It is only appropriate that Horseshoe – one of our legendary and fastest growing brands– makes its mark here in the Queen City," said Caesars Entertainment Corporation chairman, CEO and president Gary Loveman. "Our Horseshoe casinos are the overwhelming preferred choice in gaming in each of the five markets where they operate, and we fully anticipate Horseshoe Cincinnati will enjoy similar success."


The City's Urban Design Review Board is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 3 P.M. at to review preliminary designs.

And Cincinnati's Casino Area Infrastructure project, a partnership between City staff and non-profit Bridging Broadway, is working to develop a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use, mixed-income environment that will promote economic development and connectivity in the neighborhoods surrounding the new casino.

A summary of pedestrian corridor opportunities and the incomplete results of Bridging Broadway's visioning process were presented to City Council's Major Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 1.

Following a final visioning session next month, the partnership will present updated findings to the subcommittee.

"With the strong support of this very active, urban-focused community, our team has been working for more than a year to ensure that our project does not prosper alone but also benefits the surrounding neighborhoods and region," said Rock Gaming CEO Dan Gilbert. "The outward facing design and pedestrian accessibility will rejuvenate this part of town, while putting thousands of people into good-paying jobs."

Kevin Kline, most recently second in charge at Horseshoe Hammond, just outside of Chicago, will serve as Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati's general manager. His job is to work with the City to make sure the casino is a complementary fit.

"My first priority is to meet the area's hotel, restaurant and retail community to discuss potential opportunities to service future casino guests," Kline said.


Cincinnati's casino is projected to draw six million people downtown annually, while generating nearly $520 million in annual gaming activity.

The first construction bids are likely to go out next month.

"The new casino is another component in Downtown Cincinnati's growth," said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. "The Casino, nearing completion and the continued new redevelopment of Over-the-Rhine shows the strength of Cincinnati's economy even in tough times."

Ohio's other casinos, approved by Ohio voters via statewide ballot measure in November 2009, will also open in 2012.

In Cleveland, Rock Caesars Ohio plans to open its sixth Horseshoe location in downtown Cleveland, following a $350 million renovation of the historic Higbee department store building.

Casinos in Columbus and Toledo, to be operated by Penn National Gaming Inc., will carry the Hollywood Casino name.

Previous reading on BC:
Casino celebration, fundraiser open to all (2/3/11)
Casino groundbreaking Feb. 4; Visioning continues (1/24/11)
Bridging Broadway outreach continues Saturday (1/20/11)
Casino-area study will begin September 1 (8/19/10)
Harrah's selected as minority partner, operator of Cincinnati casino (8/16/10)


Quimbob said...

Is this place expected to have entertainment? The Hammond location appears to bring in some second rate acts.

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