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Best of Dan Ippolito

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Top 10 openings and expansions

8 July 2019

Two weeks ago, Casino City’s Gary Trask was onsite for the grand opening of Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion property in Everett, Massachusetts. Along with that major event, we have seen several other resorts announce expansions and openings since our last edition back in April.

10. New parking garage at Rampart Casino
A new parking garage is now open at Rampart Casino Resort at Summerlin. The new garage features an additional 450 new free parking spots, which is an added bonus for locals since many Las Vegas casinos have resorted to charging for parking in recent years.

On hand for the ceremonial parking of the first car was the property’s General Manager Michelle Bacigalupi and Vice President of Marketing, Dan Long.


9. Circa Sports launches in Downtown Las Vegas
Las Vegas casino owner and developer Derek Stevens officially launched his new sports betting venture, Circa Sports, the first weekend in June within the all-new sportsbook at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.

"The bell has rung, and we are thrilled to be taking bets of all kinds with Circa Sports," said Stevens. "We intend to bring that old-school Las Vegas vibe to the floor, so there was no better place to bring this to life than in Las Vegas' most historic hotel, Golden Gate."

In addition, the Circa Sports mobile app is now available to add convenience to the wagering menu – from daily games and events to futures – in Las Vegas.

On 19 June, Circa Sports introduced a satellite program at sister property The D Las Vegas. Its next stop will be at the highly anticipated multi-level, stadium-style sportsbook at Circa Resort & Casino in December 2020.



8. The Hunger Games: The Exhibition now open
The Hunger Games: The Exhibition launched at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on 6 June 2019.

The Hunger Games attraction is based on the world-renowned films from Lionsgate, which grossed over $3 billion at the worldwide box office.

The experience features several inspirational galleries including the Hall of Justice, President Snow's Office, the Tribute Train, District 13, and an archery training experience set within a 60-foot wide interactive digital training lab, which is a climactic highlight of the exhibition.

The grand opening was held featuring Hunger Games star Eldon Henson and Welby Altidor, Group Chief Creative Officer of Cityneon Holdings and Victory Hill Exhibitions.

7. Celestia debuts at The STRAT
CELESTIA, an all-new, immersive production experience, debuted at The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod on 5 June. Produced by Intrigue Shows, the show features acrobatics, technology, artistry and imagination and performs eight times a week in a unique 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art theatrical tent located along the Las Vegas Strip.

Back in February, the Las Vegas resort rebranded to The STRAT and began full remodel of the indoor and outdoor Observation Decks on floors 108 and 109. It also introduced a new sportsbook and a new sculpture at the entryway titled “LOOK!" The sculpture is comprised of three ascending figures made of stainless steel and was created by a team of three local Las Vegas artists.

6. Borgata Casino debuts Moneyline Bar & Book
On 29 June, Moneyline Bar & Book and Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge opened at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. The Atlantic City resort was part of history, when for the first time the monthly sports betting handle in New Jersey ($318.9 million) surpassing Nevada's ($317.4 million) in May.

Guests are welcomed into Moneyline Bar & Book by a 40-foot-wide by 11.5-foot-tall LED video wall with 17 additional 98-inch and 86-inch displays surrounding the 8,000-square-foot venue. The 35-foot-long bar features 19 built-in slot machines.

The all-new Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge joins Borgata Nightlife’s roster. Featuring four blackjack tables, the 3,600-square-foot venue offers customizable seating with lounge chairs, sofas and ottomans for private groups.


5. San Manuel Casino opens high-limit gaming experience
On 30 May, San Manuel Casino in California announced the opening of its newest high-limit gaming space, The Vault Gaming & Provisions.

“At San Manuel Casino, we strive to always bring the most innovative gaming and entertainment experiences to our guests,” said Peter Arceo, General Manager of San Manuel Casino. “The Vault Gaming & Provisions offers exactly what our VIP guests are looking for in high-limit gaming and we are excited to open this unrivaled, sophisticated space that will create unforgettable experiences.”

The Vault Gaming & Provisions includes an 18,000-square-foot gaming floor featuring 185 high-limit slot machines with denominations up to $500, as well as eight table games, including blackjack and EZ Baccarat, with limits up to $10,000.

VIP guests can enjoy first-class amenities such as their own individual lockers, private bathrooms and personalized, dedicated service.


4. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort begins expansion
Oaklawn officially began its $100 million expansion project that was announced back in November.

The Arkansas casino also became the first casino in the state to offer sports wagering with the opening Monday of its newly remodeled Race & Sports Book in the north end of the casino.

Planned to open before next year’s racing season, the expansion will feature an additional 28,000 square feet of gaming space.

On top of that, the project will include a luxury hotel and an event center that will overlook the track.

The casino has also began offering live craps and blackjack 1 April.

3. Casino Del Sol unveils new conference center
Casino Del Sol in Arizona has completed a 9,600-square-foot expansion to its existing Conference Center.

A second ballroom and additional breakout rooms were added to complement the existing convention space. The design allows for a variety of events with several different room configurations.

Now with two ballrooms and plenty of pre-function space, Casino Del Sol boasts almost 110,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space.

“We expanded our conference and event center offerings to meet the needs of our guests and our community,” said Kimberly Van Amburg, CEO of Casino Del Sol. “Our new and expanded event spaces will allow us to host even more events and accommodate almost any type or size of gathering or corporate function.”

2. Rivers Casino to break ground on new hotel
On 18 June, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh announced that it will break ground on a $60 million North Shore hotel this summer.

The seven-story, four-star property will be called “The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh” and will include 219 guest rooms. The hotel will attach to the existing casino on the east facade, facing the Carnegie Science Center.

“The time is right,” said Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. “Statewide gaming expansion changed our schedule, but never our intentions. Rush Street always envisioned a hotel for Rivers to create a full-service destination on the North Shore. We see it as a natural evolution.”


1. Plaza Hotel and Casino upgrades with $15 million renovation
The Plaza Hotel and Casino, located in Downtown Las Vegas, continues to upgrade its guest experience with a $15 million renovation that transformed more than 100 hotel rooms and suites on the top floors of the North Tower.

The new Luxe Rooms offer enhanced guest accommodations with a variety of technology, energy efficiency and décor upgrades. Now available for reservations starting 1 August, Luxe Rooms can be booked online.

“Just as downtown Las Vegas continues to evolve, the Plaza’s new Luxe Rooms are raising the standard for accommodations in the heart of downtown,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “We are proud to debut the Luxe Rooms, offering our guests beautiful new hotel rooms and suites with numerous modern conveniences and sought-after amenities.”

Every room offers various guest conveniences, such as a multitude of built-in USB charging ports, a 49-inch flat-screen television with premium cable, a coffee maker and refrigerator.

The eight new Luxe suites also include a wet bar, and all Luxe Rooms offer stunning mountain views or overlook the high energy activity of Fremont Street.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at daniel@casinocity.com, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.