COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio Casino Control Commission has announced that Horseshoe Casino Cleveland has been given the green light to open the week of May 14, 2012.
The announcement confirms that Northeast Ohio will be home to the State's first casino since a statewide gaming ballot measure was approved in November 2009. The casino developer and owner, Rock Ohio Caesars (ROC), is also developing a casino in Cincinnati which is slated to open in spring 2013.
"We'll be ready," said Marcus Glover, general manager of Horseshoe Cleveland. "On behalf of our entire team who will start exciting new casino careers, I couldn't be prouder to debut this first-class entertainment destination to the City, to the State and to the Nation in May." Glover also commended the Ohio Casino Control Commission for its diligence to promptly define timelines for casino openings in Cleveland and Toledo. "The Commission's efforts allow us to move forward with several critical steps needed prior to our launch," he said.
Horseshoe Cleveland is being developed inside the Historic Higbee Building in downtown Cleveland as a high-profile addition to the city's impressive sports, entertainment, music and cultural attractions. "From the time that we embarked on this $350 million casino development we have looked for ways to create a more powerful impact for downtown Cleveland and our guests," said Dan Gilbert, chairman of Rock Gaming LLC, majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. "We have doubled down on our commitments to Ohio. We believe more than ever that Horseshoe Cleveland – combined with the many other new and exciting developments under way in Cleveland – will be a big shot in the arm for this hard-working community."
Additional developments include a parking structure and arrival center adjacent to the Higbee building which will serve casino guests and the public alike, the December 2011 purchase of The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, and an attached five-story commercial office building at 250 Huron Road. The Ritz will continue to operate the 205-room hotel under a long-term management contract and the office building will be utilized for casino administrative space and other services. These additional acquisitions and projects bring the casino project's direct investment in Cleveland to more than $570 million.
Since his purchase of the Cavaliers in 2005, Gilbert and his 'Family of Companies' 10 businesses in greater Cleveland that employ more than 2,000 team members. The businesses include: operation of the Quicken Loans Arena; the AHL Lake Erie Monsters; the NBA Development League Canton Charge; the AFL Cleveland Gladiators; the Cleveland Clinic Courts Player Development Center; a Quicken Loans Web Center; Veritix, an electronic ticketing company; and Bizdom U Cleveland, an entrepreneurial accelerator. Investment in these businesses exceeds $450 million, bringing Gilbert and his partners' total Cleveland-area investment to more than $1 billion.
Preparing to Open Horseshoe Cleveland
Gaming equipment, including 2,100 slot machines, will be delivered to Horseshoe Cleveland in the coming weeks as the final stages of renovation conclude. Approximately 300,000 sq. ft. across four floors of the long-vacant Higbee Building is being transformed into a first-class gaming destination in the City's urban core. In addition to slot machines, 65 table games, a high-limits area, an action-packed World Series of Poker® room, and a VIP player's lounge will occupy the 96,000 sq. ft. gaming floor.
The casino will offer an international buffet restaurant and a food court with local partners providing regional fare. Corky & Lenny's – a Cleveland-area landmark deli – announced last week that it will open inside Horseshoe Cleveland. A main-floor feature bar will round out the food, beverage and entertainment offerings. Horseshoe Cleveland is projected to attract an additional five million visits annually to downtown Cleveland.
Work on the casino development and its adjacent parking structure has created about 2,000 construction jobs, and the casino began recruiting for 1,600 new casino jobs last fall. After receiving more than 36,000 applications, about 1,300 people are in training and/or have been hired to date.