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Official confirmation of the Columbus Hollywood Casino opening date by the Ohio Casino Control Commission yesterday.  Additionaly, a soft-opening-day was announced for October 3.  According to the below linked Business First article - "It will run from 9 a.m. to midnight on Oct. 3 with up to 10,000 guests invited to play the casino’s slot machines, bet on table games and eat at its three restaurants and sports bar." 

 

More about this and some updates about the casino construction and its operation at the below link to the non-subscription article on the Columbus Business First website:

 

Business First: Penn National gets operator’s license for Columbus Hollywood Casino, October opening on schedule

 

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Hollywood Casino draws huge crowd for final test run

 

DAI-Hollywood-Casino-Columbus-updated*280.jpg?v=1

 

Hollywood Casino Columbus was buzzing Wednesday as Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) worked out the kinks at the $400 million gambling house.

 

A Tina Turner-like singer in a circa-1980s rock and funk band belted out tunes on the stage at the casino’s oh! lounge and sports bar while some lucky gamblers loudly celebrated their winning efforts at the roulette and craps tables.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/10/hollywood-casino-draws-huge-crowd-for.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Hollywood Casino using food to entice customers’ palates and wallets

 

Table gaming isn’t the only lure to the Hollywood Casino Columbus.

 

The casino, set to open Oct. 8, will provide an estimated 10,000 daily visitors a quartet of dining spots, ranging from a fast-casual counter to a white tablecloth steakhouse.

 

“You definitely won’t be starved for choices,” Executive Chef Dave Bennion said.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2012/10/05/hollywood-casino-using-food-to-entice.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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First Look: Hollywood Casino bringing the glitz for gamblers

 

DAI-Hollywood-Casino-09.jpg?v=1

 

An eclectic group of celebrities will gather Monday morning to cut the ribbon at the long-awaited opening of Hollywood Casino Columbus.

 

Ohio State University’s two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, actress and entertainer Ann-Margret [Really? Oy vey! :?] and former heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas will be part of the ceremonies, according to a media alert I received from the casino’s owner, Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN).

 

WAYYYY more below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/10/first-look-hollywood-casino-bringing.html

 

Slideshow:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/10/first-look-hollywood-casino-bringing.html?s=image_gallery


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Two youtube videos of the Hollywood Casino.  Taken in mid-September by two different people driving down Georgesville Road. 

 

The first video starts at Georgesville Road near Broad Street and travels south.  The camera-work starts out okay at the video's beginning.  But it gets progressively worse, until you can only see pavement and orange barrels wizzing by. :-(

 

 

The second video starts at Georgesville Road near Sullivant Avenue and travels north.  This video shows the parking garage portion of the complex first and then shows the main casino building.  Much better camera-work in this video, but much more wind noise. (Do not have your speakers turned up while viewing this one!)

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I'm going Saturday so we'll see!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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At least if it's disappointing, and I would imagine high standards wouldn't applied to a cheesy casino, there are always the taco trucks down the street. If you have any cash left over.

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Have there been any plans announced to construct something that may be able to build some synergy in the Westland area? Restaurants/other attractions?

 

It'd be great to be able to head out west and say "we're going to X, Y and then the casino."

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:-o

 

Hollywood Casino draws 25k visitors on opening day

 

DAI-Hollywood-Casino-07*280.jpg?v=1

 

Hollywood Casino Columbus drew a bigger crowd than expected on its opening day Monday.

 

About 25,000 people visited between 11:30 a.m. and midnight, after initial projections had called for 20,000, according to a casino spokesperson.

 

----

 

The Hollywood Casino Toledo drew an estimated 10,000 visitors on its opening day in May, while 15,000 people passed through the doors of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland on its first full day, also in May.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/10/10/hollywood-casino-draws-25k-visitors-on.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Have there been any plans announced to construct something that may be able to build some synergy in the Westland area? Restaurants/other attractions?

 

It'd be great to be able to head out west and say "we're going to X, Y and then the casino."

 

There's been talk of a "Weston" style development out there, but it would just be more suburban development the area already has too much of. Well, there's a Tee Jaye's across the street. Maybe if there were a streetcar down W Broad some casino goers would use it to go from the walkable storefronts on W Broad several blocks east (assuming the streetcar started attracting restaurants and bars) or vice versa, but the city didn't plan outside of a High St or Downtown streetcar. As it stands, visitors pretty much only have the casino and Tee Jaye's as evening destinations on W Broad until Dirty Frank's II opens 2 miles east.

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Have there been any plans announced to construct something that may be able to build some synergy in the Westland area? Restaurants/other attractions?

 

It'd be great to be able to head out west and say "we're going to X, Y and then the casino."

 

There's been talk of a "Weston" style development out there, but it would just be more suburban development the area already has too much of. Well, there's a Tee Jaye's across the street. Maybe if there were a streetcar down W Broad some casino goers would use it to go from the walkable storefronts on W Broad several blocks east (assuming the streetcar started attracting restaurants and bars) or vice versa, but the city didn't plan outside of a High St or Downtown streetcar. As it stands, visitors pretty much only have the casino and Tee Jaye's as evening destinations on W Broad until Dirty Frank's II opens 2 miles east.

 

It seems I remember reading how the development overlay of the area called for zero setback on new construction, outside of the casino itself, that is.  I wonder if that will actually happen.  BTW, I don't think "Weston" is ever going to happen. 

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Have there been any plans announced to construct something that may be able to build some synergy in the Westland area? Restaurants/other attractions?

 

It'd be great to be able to head out west and say "we're going to X, Y and then the casino."

There is an effort called "The Weston Vision" that was posted by Columbus Underground in 2010, as follows:

 

New Vision Announced for West Side Redevelopment: "A multi-part development announcement for the west side was just made today, which includes the formulation of an amendment to the Greater Hilltop Plan, the initiation of a Regional Commercial Overlay, and a market study and economic development implementation strategy currently known as “The Weston Vision”.  These initiatives are collaborative efforts between The City of Columbus, Franklin County, Franklin Township, Hilltop area businesses, west side residents and the Weston Development Partnership.  The goal of these plans is to produce a cohesive redevelopment of the entire West Broad Street Corridor."

 

"The Weston Vision" also maintains an active website at http://www.thewestonvision.com/.  Which, by the way, is not the same thing as the "Weston" redevelopment of Westland Mall posted in the Westland Mall Redevelopment thread here at UrbanOhio. 

 

It seems I remember reading how the development overlay of the area called for zero setback on new construction, outside of the casino itself, that is.

jbcmh81 remembers correctly.  In 2011, the City of Columbus enacted commercial development overlays along West Broad Street in the Hilltop and west of the overhead railroad tracks to Georgesville Road.  Which is the extent of the land that is inside the Columbus city limits along West Broad. - Link to the maps of the West Broad Street Commercial Overlays

 

Below are two recent maps that show the Casino and its west side context.  The first shows the multiple jurisdictions in the area.  The second was scanned from last Friday's Business First that shows closer detail of the existing context:

 

8075781333_0c68ecf653_d.jpg 

 

8075783355_d653ff56c9_z_d.jpg

 

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:-o

 

Hollywood Casino draws 25k visitors on opening day

 

DAI-Hollywood-Casino-07*280.jpg?v=1

 

Hollywood Casino Columbus drew a bigger crowd than expected on its opening day Monday.

 

About 25,000 people visited between 11:30 a.m. and midnight, after initial projections had called for 20,000, according to a casino spokesperson.

 

----

 

The Hollywood Casino Toledo drew an estimated 10,000 visitors on its opening day in May, while 15,000 people passed through the doors of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland on its first full day, also in May.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/10/10/hollywood-casino-draws-25k-visitors-on.html

Here's a couple more opening day reports from NBC4 and WBNS-10TV.  It was pretty funny to see the official opening of the casino doors on the NBC4 video because it looked like one of those Wal-Mart stores opening on the day after Thanksgiving!

 

WBNS-10TV: Hopes High For Local Economy As Columbus Casino Opens

 

NBC4: Ohio's 3rd, Largest Casino Opens In Columbus

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Have there been any plans announced to construct something that may be able to build some synergy in the Westland area? Restaurants/other attractions?

 

It'd be great to be able to head out west and say "we're going to X, Y and then the casino."

There is an effort called "The Weston Vision" that was posted by Columbus Underground in 2010, as follows:

 

New Vision Announced for West Side Redevelopment: "A multi-part development announcement for the west side was just made today, which includes the formulation of an amendment to the Greater Hilltop Plan, the initiation of a Regional Commercial Overlay, and a market study and economic development implementation strategy currently known as “The Weston Vision”.  These initiatives are collaborative efforts between The City of Columbus, Franklin County, Franklin Township, Hilltop area businesses, west side residents and the Weston Development Partnership.  The goal of these plans is to produce a cohesive redevelopment of the entire West Broad Street Corridor."

 

"The Weston Vision" also maintains an active website at http://www.thewestonvision.com/.  Which, by the way, is not the same thing as the "Weston" redevelopment of Westland Mall posted in the Westland Mall Redevelopment thread here at UrbanOhio. 

 

It seems I remember reading how the development overlay of the area called for zero setback on new construction, outside of the casino itself, that is.

jbcmh81 remembers correctly.  In 2011, the City of Columbus enacted commercial development overlays along West Broad Street in the Hilltop and west of the overhead railroad tracks to Georgesville Road.  Which is the extent of the land that is inside the Columbus city limits along West Broad. - Link to the maps of the West Broad Street Commercial Overlays

 

Below are two recent maps that show the Casino and its west side context.  The first shows the multiple jurisdictions in the area.  The second was scanned from last Friday's Business First that shows closer detail of the existing context:

 

8075781333_0c68ecf653_d.jpg 

 

8075783355_d653ff56c9_z_d.jpg

 

So then the overlay doesn't extend to Franklin Twp, so the actual redevelopment around the casino itself will very likely resemble Sawmill more than West Broad through Hilltop.  That's a shame, but not unexpected.   

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^I'm not sure what the County is doing with the township land.  I recall some discussion from the County last year - who handles the planning and zoning of the non-City controlled land - about doing something like what the City did regarding overlays around the casino.  I'll see if I can dig this up a little later.

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I thought I recalled something about the County trying to rezone the Franklin Township land near the casino.  Below is the Dispatch excerpt and link from earlier this year.  Apparently, the rezoning for the County/Township section of Broad Street (which would mesh with the already done commercial overlay for the City of Columbus section of Broad Street) is on hold until January 31, 2013.

 

County delays casino-area zoning plan

By Lucas Sullivan, The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 5:11 AM

 

The Franklin County commissioners have scrapped a zoning plan for the area around the new Hollywood Casino Columbus because businesses owners voiced their disapproval.  The commissioners voted (January 31, 2012) to postpone action for a year to give their economic-development team more time to collaborate with property owners near the Westland Mall.

 

The development team had asked the commissioners to approve the zoning plan in December, but businesses expressed frustrations over how the county’s proposal would jell with zoning in the city of Columbus.  Some land near the $400 million casino is in Columbus, and some is in unincorporated areas of Franklin County.

 

MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/02/01/county-delays-casino-area-zoning-plan.html

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^A little more about that section of West Broad Street that was mentioned in above article.  This Franklin Township section of Broad Street is in line for a $4.5 million road upgrade from ODOT.  This is the section of West Broad Street (Rt. 40) between I-270 and Georgesville/Phillipi Road shown in the map below.

 

8075781333_0c68ecf653_d.jpg

 

WBNS-10TV ran a couple of pieces about ODOT's plan to add sidewalks, landscaping, new streetlights, crosswalks, bus shelters and benches in this Franklin Township section of West Broad Street.  And it also highlights some of the resistence to urbanizing West Broad Street coming from Franklin Township.

 

WBNS-10TV: Plan To Beautify Area Around Casino Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

 

WBNS-10TV: Franklin Township Agrees To Help Pay For Beautification Of Area Around Casino

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The only thing they could do to beautify they area around the casino would be to tear it down and start over. That my friends, is a fact of my very opinion.  The casino is nice.  The real question I have is what is coming next to the area to make it the casino even more relevant.  Hopefully a hotel and with some shops, the way they do in Vegas.

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Hollywood Casino to debut 8,000-square-foot expansion

 

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Soon visitors to Hollywood Casino Columbus will have more space to play slot machines like 88 Fortunes and Lock It Link.

 

The casino announced Wednesday it is wrapping up an 8,000-square-foot expansion, which will house more than 200 slot machines on an open-air patio that allows smoking.

 

The new gaming patio will open in late January and will be open 24/7, along with the rest of the 160,000-square-foot casino.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/01/08/hollywood-casino-to-debut-8-000-square-foot.html

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"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Would be nice if they would finally build a hotel or a proper theater instead of a 3rd smoking patio 🙄

 

I didnt find it but wasnt there hubbub a few years ago because the casino filed for land/air rights up to 15ish stories for a potential future development?

Edited by DTCL11

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40 minutes ago, DTCL11 said:

Would be nice if they would finally build a hotel or a proper theater instead of a 3ed smoking patio 🙄

 

I didnt find it but wasnt there hubbub a few years ago because the casino filed for land/air rights up to 15ish stories for a potential future development?

I'm not a smoker, but I will say I feel this is a smart business move on the casino's part.  Many of the clientele that a casino attracts are smokers (not trying to be judgmental, just realistic, plus I do enjoy the occasional cigar with my drink haha).  This will allow people who would prefer to smoke and spend money on gambling to spend more.

 

I feel, although it's taken a long time, we are getting very close to a hotel or two in the future.  One way or another, a hotel will be placed on the large corner lot there at Broad and Georgesville.  I also think, especially given the Hollywood theme, a movie theater would do great in this area.  There is not one significant movie theater on this side of town, especially since the one and only Regal closed 1-2 years ago.  I don't foresee the casino wanting to get involved with a movie theater on their land, as this would detract from their entertainment/purpose, however with the Westland Mall being torn down in the next year, I would think a movie theater in the area and mix used development could be strongly considered.  As stalled as this entire area of town has been since the casino was built, I feel this area still has huge potential in the coming years.

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6 hours ago, Gnoraa said:

I'm not a smoker, but I will say I feel this is a smart business move on the casino's part.  Many of the clientele that a casino attracts are smokers (not trying to be judgmental, just realistic, plus I do enjoy the occasional cigar with my drink haha).  This will allow people who would prefer to smoke and spend money on gambling to spend more.

 

I feel, although it's taken a long time, we are getting very close to a hotel or two in the future.  One way or another, a hotel will be placed on the large corner lot there at Broad and Georgesville.  I also think, especially given the Hollywood theme, a movie theater would do great in this area.  There is not one significant movie theater on this side of town, especially since the one and only Regal closed 1-2 years ago.  I don't foresee the casino wanting to get involved with a movie theater on their land, as this would detract from their entertainment/purpose, however with the Westland Mall being torn down in the next year, I would think a movie theater in the area and mix used development could be strongly considered.  As stalled as this entire area of town has been since the casino was built, I feel this area still has huge potential in the coming years.

 

The new Westland development plan looked like it could have space for the movie theater.  That needs to happen, incentivize the sh*t out of it and get it done. 

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6 hours ago, Gnoraa said:

I'm not a smoker, but I will say I feel this is a smart business move on the casino's part.  Many of the clientele that a casino attracts are smokers (not trying to be judgmental, just realistic, plus I do enjoy the occasional cigar with my drink haha).  This will allow people who would prefer to smoke and spend money on gambling to spend more.

 

 

The gaming industry hates the idea of people having to stop gambling to smoke. It's an opportunity for them to decide to leave or stop playing for the day as well.

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2 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

 

The gaming industry hates the idea of people having to stop gambling to smoke. It's an opportunity for them to decide to leave or stop playing for the day as well.

True, but if I'm reading the information  in the article correctly, this "patio" is going to have gaming and slots outside.  Likely another beverage/bar station as well.  Unless I interpreted that wrong?  I'd assume it's also why most Vegas casino's still allow for smoking, at least when I was out there this last summer they still were.  I like the idea of an open air patio actually.  Caters to what some people want I suppose.

Edited by Gnoraa

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3 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

^Yes, that's why they're adding, apparently, it's 3rd smoking porch

Oh I see, I didn't know they already had open air porches at this Casino for smokers.  Are the other porches of significant size like 8,000 square feet and include gaming as well?

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The casino already had 2. A 71 and a 21 slot smokers patios. So while this new 3rd patio is a significant addition, it is still a bit frustrating while acknowledging the demand and logistics. 

 

As for the hotel, I'm not convinced there is anything that will rise in the near future. The suburban development of a gas station and stand alone restaurant on the corner solidified that for me. The influence of Westland is years down the road and if they build a hotel or two, it doesn't change the fact that Hollywood has no direct attachment. The point for me being the Casino is a flop in the concept of a all in one destination and major draw. It just seems that there are conventional things that a major casino should have (hotel, spa, theater, conference center etc) and these operators have made little attempts to achieve. They haven't done much to separate themselves from other regional casinos or increase demand and therefore tax revenue. IMO, the failure of the tax revenues to meet the projections (which I would have bet money on to begin with) means that we should pressure them to do more to make up that gap. Having some of these things I mention would help that as well as bring in bed taxes and ticket taxes. Especially since being away from town, the casino missed alot of traffic related to other events at the stadiums, convention center, river etc. 

 

And to clarify theater, I'm referring to a stage theater/auditorium rather than using the ballroom for concerts etc. 

 

The thing too that gets me is the concept of the Casino being a catalyst. Frankly, even if it wasnt there, I think Westland would have still been the same today and that its bright future would have also been the same. I think if done properly, the area was bound to be revitalized by a major westland development some day and not the casino and I dont see the Casino as being the reason a major Westland development would be in the works. 

 

Idk. I may be being too picky or too aspirational and perhaps should just accept that it's nothing more than a typical regional casino. I also admittedly look at places like Michigan and Iowa where gambling has been legal long before with big and small casinos. On the outskirts of BattleCreek, the casino there was built, 3 years later the 250 room hotel tower and this year a new 200 room tower will be completed. Keeping in mind there were already hotels nearby in the same way that Holywood has hotels in the vicinity. A much smaller city is able to create a ever growing and in high demand casino and Columbus.... meh... it might come along, eventually... I know its very jman of me but I'm frustrated that the city has not held the casino more accountable to be better at being the catalyst that was pitched. They got their profit and they are content to not worry about whether they actually help the community by being a better draw. The casino is waiting on everyone else to be the catalyst enough for a hotel and not being the catalyst itself. 

 

Screenshot_20200109-155437_Google.jpg

Edited by DTCL11

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1 hour ago, GCrites80s said:

Each additional casino brings diminishing returns, so nowadays I'm not surprised when expected or common additions don't pan out.

 

Very true. And the quick passage of Racino legislation afterwards was the biggest factor of projections versus reality. I guess I just want more out of Columbus to combat that like the example of FireKeepers in Battle Creek. But that's just me playing SimCasino 

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