- Light fog
CLEVELAND - After a dramatic countdown and a lot of high-fives, the first official patrons walked into the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland at 9:30 p.m. Monday.
There was not a ribbon cutting in the tradition sense. Instead, the casino marks its arrival with a unique 3D video projected onto the side of the Higbee Building, featuring iconic images of a city hoping for new growth.
"This is an urban casino. This is a casino designed and developed to help invigorate downtown Cleveland and make downtown Cleveland an entertainment center," Rock Gaming chairman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said. "Hopefully, you'll frequent the bars and hotels… We're promoting two-way traffic."
"When you walked into the casino today, hopefully you'll see more than a casino, but a classy and intimate entertainment center that really has the soul of Cleveland involved here," Gilbert told the cheering crowd.
Gilbert thanked the voters of Ohio as well as the 1,600 employees now working at the casino. He said 94 percent of them are from this community.
"One of the things I'll tell is they're very nervous, so give them some patience," general manager Marcus Glover said. He said the employees appreciate the pride and swagger of the Horseshoe brand, calling them some of the best and brightest in northeast Ohio.
About $350 million was invested into Phase I of the casino and it's expected to bring in 5 million visitors annually.
"It's here. There's been a lot of attempts and people said it would never happen," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. "Those investments in this casino will help us be a 24 hour city."
"It's time. It's time. It's definitely time," said Gilbert, sporting a red bowtie, which has become the signature look of his son, Nick.
Two Horseshoe Casino locations are expected to open next year; one in Columbus and another in downtown Cincinnati.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The Tri-State's casino market has four rivals battling furiously for market share, with the new guy in town, Cincinnati's Horseshoe…
As Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati opens, WCPO Digital takes a look back at promises made since 2009, when Ohio voters legalized gambling.…
Cincinnati's new casino has awarded more than 75 percent of its contracts for goods and services to companies located in Cincinnati and Ohio.
A Cincinnati woman won $1 million at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati on Saturday.
All four of Ohio's casinos saw dips in April revenues compared to their March numbers.
John Matarese reports on which casino games give you the best chance of winning.
Darius Rucker will perform at the Horseshoe Casino in September; the latest in top-notch musicians to be announced at the new Cincinnati attraction.
After raking in $21 million in adjusted gross revenue in its first month of operation, Cincinnati's Horseshoe Casino has yet to pay at least…
A group of big-name entertainers including Ke$ha, The Shins, Willie Nelson and Alice Cooper are set to headline concerts at "The Shoe" --…
While many people have been excited to explore Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, one local woman was angered and disappointed after she was kicked…