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Hollywood Casino Toledo
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National News

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012 7:50 PM

Hollywood Casino opens its doors in Toledo; will compete with Detroit's three

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The exterior of the new Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio on May 29, 2012.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

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TOLEDO, 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.

The 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.

Toledo Mayor Michael Bell was the first to speak. He was another Woodward High School graduate.

"This 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."

The 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.

The 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.

"Today 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."

More 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," Carlino said.

Hollywood Casino General Manager Richard St. Jean spoke of the history of Toledo and all the contributions people have made to make this a success.

"We 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 to work?"

There 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.

The 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.

Upon 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.

There 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.

There 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.

For more information on the Hollywood Casino Toledo, visit www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com.

Related Story: The Original Tony Packo's Restaurant Review (Toledo, OH)

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Entrance to Hollywood Casino off Miami Street.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Construction on the new casino began in 2010.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The entrance to the casino from inside the parking deck.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

It features 125,000 square feet of gaming space.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Hollywood Casino's design and decor reflects the glitz and glamour of the 1930's art deco Hollywood.

 

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