CLEVELAND -- After all the buzz and anticipation, Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino finally opened Monday night.
Between the lines of people still waiting to get in late Monday, and the buzz at other downtown hot spots, the casino looks like an early hit.
The grand-opening event was attended by Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Caesars Entertainment Corporation; Dan Gilbert, chairman of Rock Gaming; Marcus Glover, general manager and senior vice president of Horseshoe Cleveland; Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; and many others. More than 4,000 people lined up for hours to be the first to experience downtown Cleveland's newest world-class entertainment destination.
"It is a genuine pleasure to finally bring the Horseshoe brand and its legacy of great hospitality as well as our Total Rewards loyalty program to this exciting new market," said Loveman. "Our team members are proud to play a part in bringing Ohio's first casino to the city of Cleveland."
"From the time that we embarked on this $350 million casino development, we have looked for ways to create a more powerful impact for downtown Cleveland and our guests," said Gilbert, who is also majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, Inc. "We have doubled down on our commitments to Ohio. We believe more than ever that Horseshoe Cleveland - combined with the many other new and exciting developments under way in this city - will be a big shot in the arm for this hard-working community."
The $350 million development is designed to engage visitors with Cleveland's existing culture, night life and sporting events.
Developers took great care to preserve the character of the former Higbee's Department store when renovating the building.
The casino includes a buffet and three restaurants as well as a World Series of Poker room and VIP players' lounge.
Channel 3's Lynna Lai and Dan Haggerty have the real reaction from those closest to the action.