Ohio -- I
attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the new Hollywood
Casino in Toledo, Ohio. The ceremony began with Emcee Jamie Farr,
who was born in Toledo on July 1, 1934. He is an actor best known
for playing Maxwell Klinger on M*A*S*H. Farr went to
Woodward High School before finally being discovered by a MGM
talent scout. His pal, Danny Thomas, encouraged him to be an actor.
Farr introduced the special guests for this event.
new casino in northwestern Ohio will have a huge impact on Detroit's
three casinos -- Greektown, MGM and Motor City. Many of their
gamblers come from south of the state line. Now, Toledoans don't
have to make that hour-long drive anymore with a new casino in
their backyard. Detroit's casinos are expected to lose more than
$56 million (4 percent of their $1.4 billion annual revenue).
In addition, the city of Detroit will end up losing between $7
million and $8 million in tax revenues.
Mayor Michael Bell was the first to speak. He was another Woodward
High School graduate.
is a great day and as you walk in today, people are smiling,"
he said. "I am so proud as mayor, standing here in front
of you in this beautiful casino."
casino opened to the public shortly after 12:30 p.m. today. It
was originally scheduled to open at 2 p.m., but everything was
ready so officials opened the doors a little bit early.
next speaker was Peter M. Carlino, the Chairman and CEO of Penn
National Gaming. The Wyomissing, Penn.-based company owns 26 casinos
and racetracks across the country.
marks the end of a long road but the beginning of a new road,"
he explained. "Over two and a half years ago, the voters
of Ohio voted for casino gaming in northwest Ohio. We are standing
in the first built-up standing casino in Ohio. We are located
on the banks of the Maumee River."
than 90 percent of our employees are from the Toledo metro area.
"In 2009, we said it was about jobs and the jobs are here,"
Casino General Manager Richard St. Jean spoke of the history of
Toledo and all the contributions people have made to make this
are proud of the quality of this facility, and the quality of
the restaurants," he said. "I thank our 1,300 team members.
I am very proud of your passion and dedication, and are you ready
was a VIP party thursday night, which raised $100,000. Richard
St. Jean presented a $50,000 check to Dave Wehrmeister, Executive
Director of Boys & Girls Club. Also Tod Tibbits, President
and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toledo, received a $50,000 check.
Hollywood Casino's design and decor reflects the glitz and glamour
of the 1930's art deco Hollywood. The art deco motif is complemented
by the latest technology and amenities, with movie trailers and
entertainment programming shown on a giant serpentine video wall,
along with plasma screens for guests to enjoy while gaming. Its
luxurious design and modern grandeur offers guests premier gaming,
dining and entertainment options.
opening, this casino is one of the largest employers in northwest
Ohio. Penn National spent $320 million to build the new gaming
facility. It has 2,002 electronic machines, with 60 plus 20 live
poker tables, blackjack, roulette, craps and carnival-style games.
are several restaurants and lounges in the facility such as the
Final Cut Steak & Seafood restaurant, Epic Buffet, the Scene
which is a sports grill located in the center of the casino floor,
the H Lounge which is an entertainment and ultra lounge featuring
live music , and the Take 2 Grill with grab-and-go sandwiches,
salads and desserts. There is also Rodeo Drive gift shoppe on
the premises. It is considered Hollywood's retail outlet selling
a variety of the casino-logoed merchandise as well as local souvenirs.
is a total of 3,321 parking spaces which includes 2,450 in the
parking garage, 153 on a surface lot, 275 spots for valet parking
and 443 for the employee parking lot. The Casino is open 24 hours
and 7 days a week. The address is 777 Hollywood Blvd., Toledo,
OH 43605. It is conveniently located west of I-75 (exit 199, Miami
Street). For those of you with a GPS, enter 1968 Miami St. incase
the new address doesn't work.
more information on the Hollywood Casino Toledo, visit www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com.
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