Horseshoe Cleveland debuts, first of four Ohio casinos
Caesars Entertainment will manage the casino’s dayâtoâday operations.
As an urban casino, the development was designed to engage pedestrians and support existing culture, nightlife and sports attractions downtown. The property has breathed new life into the mostly vacant former Higbee's Department Store that is beloved by locals and recognized nationally. ROC went to great lengths to preserve and highlight the historic character of the 81-year-old building, transforming four floors into a full-service gaming destination. The 96,000-squareâfoot gaming floor offers approximately 2,100 slot machines, 63 table games, a 30âtable World Series of Poker room and a VIP players lounge.
Other highlights of the property include The Spread buffet, a food court featuring three Clevelandâbased restaurants, two casino bars and a gift shop. Additionally, the casino has partnered with nearly a dozen restaurants downtown to offer fine dining experiences to its guests through Caesars’ Total Rewards loyalty program. Preferred relationships also allow the casino to offer guests overnight accommodations at three premium downtown hotels: The ROC-owned RitzâCarlton, Cleveland; The Renaissance Cleveland and the Marriott at Key Center. The mid-May grand opening event drew 4,000 people.
“It is a genuine pleasure to finally bring the Horseshoe brand and its legacy of great hospitality as well as our Total Rewards loyalty program to this exciting new market,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment at the property’s opening. “Our team members are proud to play a part in bringing Ohio's first casino to the city of Cleveland.”
The casino employs 1,600 people, with approximately 94 percent from the Cleveland area. The casino is projected to create $100 million annually in gaming tax revenue and generate five million visits a year to downtown Cleveland, adding 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, who is also majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, Inc. “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 this city-will be a big shot in the arm for this hard-working community.”
Cleveland is not the only Ohio city that will benefit from a full-scale downtown casino. Similar developments are under way in the communities of Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo and all are scheduled to open by spring 2013. The state’s seven racetracks have been also been approved for video lottery terminals (VLTs), and could potentially create a 17,500 gaming machine business. Some experts believe Ohio could equal or surpass Pennsylvania as a casino market. Last year, Pennsylvania casinos generated over $3 billion in gaming revenue.