$350M Casino Drives Cleveland Forward

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor After the state gaming referendum passed in 2009, plans were set in motion all over Ohio to build casinos. Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will open in 2012, in the lower four floors of the Higbee Building at [...]

After the state gaming referendum passed in 2009, plans were set in motion all over Ohio to build casinos. Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will open in 2012, in the lower four floors of the Higbee Building at Public Square. It will be the only casino standing in the public square of a major American city.

The makeover of Higbee’s first four floors for the casino will cost $350 million. When finished, it will feature 96,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action, approximately 2,100 slot machines, 65 table games and a 25-table World Series of Poker room. Horseshoe Cleveland will also offer several dining options, including a 400-seat buffet, a three-outlet food court and a feature bar.

Modern-day casinos are windowless boxes that keep gamblers and their money inside. Horseshoe Cleveland, on the other hand, offers an urban approach that features tall windows lined with gold fabric panels that will offer views of Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue. Antique revolving doors that once spun Higbee shoppers will empty onto sidewalks that reach the restaurants of East Fourth Street and the nightclubs of the Warehouse District. Horseshoe Cleveland is expected to change Public Square, making it one of the safest places in town, well-lit and watched by both city police and casino security.

When finished, the casino will create about 1,600 jobs. Some people have already signed up for training programs for casino workers. And like its Cincinnati sister casino, Horseshoe Cincinnati, Horseshoe Cleveland is expected to improve tourism, attracting more than five million visitors each year.

Horseshoe Cleveland is being developed by Rock Ohio Caesars, a joint venture between Rock Gaming and Caesars Entertainment.  It is the first phase of a larger downtown casino project that will ultimately see a $700 million, 16-acre multi-use casino complex on nearby Huron Road.