CINCINNATI - "Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati" is the official name of the new gambling palace to be built Downtown at Broadway Commons.
Businesses in the Central Business District, Over-The-Rhine and Pendleton hope they’re as lucky as the name sounds. The same is true for job seekers.
The name was unveiled Friday morning during the official groundbreaking for the $400 million development at Broadway and Reading Road.
Dozens of dignitaries and community leaders gathered inside a tent at the site as Dan Gilbert, CEO of the project’s developer, Rock Ventures, talked about how the project has been and will be a two-way partnership between the public and private sectors.
“We’ve built a coalition of labor, of minority interests, of city officials, of local businesses and retailers plus state officials,” Gilbert said. “It’s really a core principal of how committed we are to Cincinnati.”
Gilbert said from the beginning Rock Ventures wanted to put the casino in an urban setting that not only promotes itself, but other businesses to create more excitement downtown.
Site preparation work is already under way and construction is expected to mean 2,000 jobs over the next 24 months. That’s just over half the jobs the casino will create.
“We anticipate having 1,700 casino jobs here once the facility is opened, generating tax proceeds that will benefit especially the local communities here,” said Greg Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, which will operate the facility.
Once it's opened in late 2012, "Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati" will generate an estimated $21 million a year in tax revenue for the City of Cincinnati, $12 million for Hamilton County and $14 million for schools within Hamilton County's borders.
Jay Rodgers, owner of Joe’s Diner at 12th and Sycamore Streets in Over-The-Rhine, plus Mix Ultra Lounge on Main Street, said he feels anything coming in the neighborhood is going to help.
“A lot of folks who typically wouldn’t come to Over-The-Rhine will come to see what we have going on down here, hopefully start liking it and start coming back,” he said.
At Urban Eden on Main Street, owner Julie Fay was cautiously optimistic about what the casino could mean for her business.
“We find a lot of people who come in from out-of-town, are interested in coming to the historic neighborhood anyway,” she said. “We would hope to pick up on those folks.”
Fay added she believes the biggest issues are mobility of people getting from the casino to Main Street and back again and whether the casino will promote their business district.
Loveman estimated about 10,000 people could come to “Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati” once it’s established and that all of Cincinnati’s assets will be cross-promoted to people at Caesars properties around the world.
“We’ll be telling them about the Reds and the Bengals and events that are taking place here,” he said. “We’ll package visits here with all the things Cincinnati has to offer – things that you’re so proud of here – as part of the broader experience.”
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