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WATCH: An Exclusive Tour of the new Greektown Casino Hotel in Detroit MPEG Video

Exclusive Interview with Wayne Merritt, General Manager of the Greektown Casino-Hotel MPEG Video

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Local News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 7 January, 2009 8:37 PM

Greektown Casino's International Buffet is Now Open; Update on the Hotel's progress

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Peel and eat shrimp on the salad bar at the Inernational Buffet.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

WATCH: An Exclusive Tour of the new Greektown Casino Hotel in Detroit MPEG Video

Exclusive Interview with Wayne Merritt, General Manager of the Greektown Casino-Hotel MPEG Video

DETROIT -- The New Year 2009 may be a time for change at Greektown. Its hotel was originally scheduled to open this month, but inclement weather conditions caused it to be pushed it back to next month. Still, the Greektown Hotel has plans for 2009, which includes upcoming events such as weddings and something special planned for Valentine's Day -- as well as hopefully hosting meets of the Detroit Economic Club (DEC) in the near future.

"The hotel is a great new product -- the newest hotel product in downtown Detroit," said Wayne Merritt general manager of Greektown Casino-Hotel. "Four hundred luxurious guest rooms, 29 of those are two and three room suites. The rooms will contain iPod docking stations, minibars, iron and ironing boards, hairdryers, computer safes and full amenity package."

The official opening date of the Greektown Hotel was to be in mid-January to accommodate guests and the media for the auto show. However, bad weather caused construction workers to stop work on the outside of the building. They focused their attention on the interior until the weather became more favorable. The official opening date for the hotel is now scheduled for February 13.

Greektown Casino filed for bankruptcy in June. The casino has hired Las Vegas turnaround firm Fine Point Group, which will help boost revenue and improve operations. It appears the casino has reached a deal and should be able to emerge from bankruptcy by sometime in September.

"I think the sense of arrival, when people come to this property, it's kind of a stand-alone product as part of our casino," Merritt said. "I think when people enter the lobby, the modern design, the wide open lobby atrium, people will know that it's different."

The new hotel offers a fitness center with some workout machines but does not include a pool.

"We have a fitness area that includes a stretching area, two treadmills, two ellipticals, two bikes, and then also a circuit training area," the general manager said. "Since we don't have a pool on property, we are allowing people to go to the YMCA to use their swimming facilities. We've co-opted with them to put a package together. We'll transport people over or it's also on the People Mover stop."

Other changes at Greektown include the after-hours ultra-lounge Eclipz, which opened in November at the casino and the more recent International Buffet. After the first two days of it being open, the response has been excellent. An recent estimate of between 2,500 and 3,000 people per day have attended this wonderful feast of American, Italian, Green, Asian, Mexican, soups and bread, desserts and much more. Yesterday, it had a New Year's Day brunch.

"We've got different cuisines from different stations," said Merritt of the international Buffet. "A very competitive price point of $18.95 so I think customers feel comfortable with that. It's the same price all day, we don't offer less for lunch. It's the exact same buffet for lunch and dinner. This is part of the casino so only 21 and over allowed in the buffet area."

Christina Concessi of Greektown Casino's catering department said that the hotel is "a great property" and has no worries on the Great Recession, the rise in unemployment and job loss in Detroit. When people come to the hotel, she said, "they're at the heart of both Greektown and downtown Detroit."

As for the price of a room, Merrit explained: "I think our price point will be more competitive," than MGM and MotorCity. He continued, "We know that it's a tough market right now so we tried to price it competitively so that people can experience our new product."

Related Story: Greektown Casino’s Hotel is nearing completion; set to open in Feb. 2009

 

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

The American station features carved turkey, roast beef and ham, among other items.

 

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Small plate desserts at the International Buffet.

 

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