Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino news, construction plan - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino news, construction plan

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

New details have just been released for Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino!

Here's an updated Fact Sheet:

Downtown Cleveland is expected to host the first full-service casino in the state, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, when it opens in early 2012; it is expected to generate 5 million visits annually to the City.

It will be developed by Rock Ohio Caesars LLC (ROC), a joint venture partnership between Rock Gaming LLC and Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Caesars will manage the casino's day-to-day operations.

The Phase I casino will be located in the Historic Higbee Building at Public Square, adjacent to the city's entertainment district. ROC expects to invest more than $350 million to transform four floors of the building (300,000 sq. ft.) into a first-class gaming destination. A new parking and welcome center with street-level retail will also be developed adjacent to the project.

Plans call for the 96,000 sq. ft. gaming floor to offer approximately 2,100 slot machines, 65 table games, a 25-table World Series of Poker® room and a VIP players lounge. A buffet restaurant, a modest food court and a main-floor feature bar will round out the food, beverage and entertainment offerings. Preliminary discussions have begun with local hotels and restaurants interested in partnering with the casino to service casino guests.

During construction, nearly 2,000 jobs will be created. Horseshoe Cleveland is expected to create 1,600 casino jobs upon opening. The casino has committed to hire 90 percent of its employees from the Cleveland metropolitan area.

The casino is projected to generate $100 million annually in gaming tax revenue. Local distribution of gaming taxes is expected to provide approximately $29.7 million to the City of Cleveland, $18.7 million to Cuyahoga County and $22.5 million to Cuyahoga County school districts during its first full year of operations.

Land has also been acquired to develop a Phase II casino along Huron Road overlooking the Cuyahoga River. As a truly urban casino, the development will be designed to include outward facing restaurants and retail to engage pedestrians and support existing cultural, nightlife and sports attractions downtown.

Marcus Glover will serve as general manager of Horseshoe Cleveland, and is responsible for ensuring that the casino is developed to maximize connectivity and economic impact, while upholding Caesars' world-class operating standards.

Rock Ohio Caesars is also developing a second urban casino in downtown Cincinnati, which is expected to open in early 2013.

Rock Gaming LLC is a Midwest-based gaming partnership formed with an initial focus to develop first-class casinos in two of Ohio's largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities. Dan Gilbert, CEO of Rock Gaming, is also majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, and chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc. Through these and other business interests in the State, Gilbert employs 2,000 Ohioans.

Caesars Entertainment is the largest casino entertainment company in the world, with 52 casino resorts in 6 countries with the most recognizable brands in gaming, including: Caesars, Horseshoe, Harrah's. Total Rewards and World Series of Poker. The company is led by Chairman, CEO and President, Gary Loveman.

Ohio voters approved a state constitutional amendment in November 2009 authorizing casinos in the state's four largest cities: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. As approved in the ballot issue, gross casino revenues will be taxed at 33 percent, one of the highest rates in the nation for a resort casino with this level of investment.

Portions of the tax revenue are designated for public school districts; the host cities; all 88 counties across the state; the Ohio State Racing Commission to help revitalize the horse racing industry; law enforcement training; and research and treatment of problem gambling and substance abuse.

The bipartisan Ohio Casino Control Commission will also be funded by casino tax revenue to develop rules for casino gaming in Ohio, to license operators and to regulate and ensure the integrity of operations.

The amendment requires a minimum $1.2 billion investment, inclusive of infrastructure/construction and state licensing fees. The total investment in the state's four casino projects is expected to significantly exceed that minimum.

Horseshoe Cleveland Timeline Goal:

(subject to regulatory approvals)

2011

– Interior construction begins

– Obtain gaming license from Ohio Casino Control Commission

– Source vendors

– Hire employees

2012

– Construction ends

– Horseshoe Casino Cleveland Grand Opening

CASINO OPENING

The Horseshoe Cleveland grand opening is expected in early 2012

CONSTRUCTION

- After reaching an agreement in principal with Gov. John Kasich on June 11, 2011, Rock Ohio Caesars ordered construction work to resume immediately

- Work was originally suspended May 11; the halt lasted a total of 31 days

- After a short ramp-up period for equipment, construction workers returned to the site in earnest the week of June 20th

- Hard construction costs for the project will approach $100 million; in total the developer expects to invest more than $350 million into the Higbee transformation

WORKERS

- Throughout the project, nearly 2,000 men and women will work on the construction site

- Due to the nature of the interior work and the approximate 6+ month timetable, several hundred workers will be on the site at all times beginning this summer through project completion

2011 CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE (tentative)

FALL

Note: Construction schedule is approximate; material availability and other conditions may cause schedule to change without notice.

- Interior demo work resumes

- demo of GCP/Positively Cleveland space begins

- Mechanical/electrical/plumbing rough-in begins

- Elevator & escalator install begins

- Drywall & carpentry

- Finish & fixture installations

CONSTRUCTION BIDS

- To date, Horseshoe Cleveland has awarded 20 contracts worth approximately $30 million

- The majority of contracts awarded to date are with local, Northeast Ohio-based companies

- Through the second half of 2011, the project will seek bids totaling more than $70 million in contracts.

- Bids have also been sent out to begin work this summer on the $35 million valet and self-park Horseshoe Cleveland Welcome Center adjacent to the casino

PROGRESS DURING SUSPENSION

In May, Rock Ohio Caesars, the Cleveland Building Construction Trades Council and the Ohio and Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters signed a Community Benefits Agreement to improve minority inclusion and further minority business participation in the casino construction project, while encouraging local companies to bid and work on the project.

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