Fox 8 Exclusive: Inside The Cleveland Casino

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CLEVELAND – The grand opening of the Horseshoe Casino is still more than a week away, but part of the $350 million facility is already operational.

“Oh, I love it! Really nice,” said Joanne Mason from Painesville.  She was among the first customers to experience the new Horseshoe Gift Shop.  The store is located inside the new parking garage at the corner of Prospect and Ontario, across the street from the old Higbee building, which houses the unopened casino.

The store opened on Tuesday, giving customers a chance to buy Horseshoe gear and other items.  “The construction team has done a beautiful job with just incorporating a lot of that old style that was traditional 'Higbee',” said Joy Aaring, the retail manager.

The gift shop is the first part of the casino to open for business.  Items include glasses, clothing and everything else, including a limited edition shirt.  “It commemorates the grand opening, the first casino in Ohio and the Higbee building structure - and that will be here Friday,” said Aaring.

But along with the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, comes a hometown touch.  The store is working with locally based businesses, like Great Lakes Brewing Company, to sell items from the region.  “Having these amazing vendors who give a taste of what makes Cleveland unique in the retail and in the casino is a very positive thing for the city and its merchants,” said Marissa DeSantis, from Great Lakes.

The gift shop is open daily and a kiosk will be open on the main floor of the casino, once it’s open on May 14th.