First Look Inside Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino

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CLEVELAND – Five-days and counting before the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland opens to the public. On Wednesday, the media was given a tour of the renovation work inside the Higbee’s building on Public Square.

“It's truly inspiring when you walk in here and it's very reminiscent of the Higbee era,” said Jeffrey Cohen from Rock Gaming LLC. “You walk in and see the theming of the colors to the chandeliers.” Cohen showed-off the facility that incorporates four floors of the 81-year old historic landmark.

“We were passionate about preserving and enhancing the original Neoclassical and Art Deco style of this building inside and out,” said Nathan Forbes in a statement from Rock Gaming. “From Higbee’s entrances to its interior structural and decorative details, we challenged ourselves to maintain the timeless features of the building while completely reinventing its use.”

According to a casino media release, “the casino floors were reinforced to support heavy gaming equipment, including hundreds of slot machines weighing up to 600 lbs. each. Heating and cooling systems were also expanded to increase guest comfort, and gaming industry technology experts were involved early on to ensure that the interior fit-out design could meet the stringent security and communications requirements of a modern casino. Raised floors were installed to route and protect miles of data and power cables under the gaming floor, while also offering a means to protect the building’s original marble floors when repositioning gaming equipment. In the ceiling, experts also provided recommendations for unique casino communication and security standards that we contemplated as part of the master redesign.”

The $350 million project will be the first casino to open in Ohio, following a ballot measure in 2009 approved several casinos in the state. Horseshoe Cleveland includes nearly 300,000 square feet, 2,100 slot machines, table games, a World Series of Poker room and lounge on the upper floor for high rollers. It will employ approximately 1,600 people.

“Whether you're a gamer or just somebody looking to have a good time - you come down here, you won't be disappointed,” said Cohen.

The Public Square location was originally considered a temporary location for Horseshoe Cleveland, but Cohen said it’s the main casino for the foreseeable future. “We're beginning development now, we're looking at the architectural plans. We're going to open phase-one and see where things go, look at the demand.”

Casino operators have a final security briefing with the City of Cleveland Police Department on Friday morning. The grand opening for the public is Monday night at 9:30.