CLEVELAND – The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland is gearing-up for the holiday season by taking a trip back in time.
This will be the first Christmas for the casino, which opened in May, and designers are preparing an overhaul of the Higbee Building.
"[It’s a] huge, huge project. I didn't quite know how exactly huge it is, but we're talking about 60,000 square feet, indoor and outdoor," said Cynthia Klein. She’s the lead designer from Room 2 Room Interior Designs in Northeast Ohio which won the bid for the holiday makeover at the Horseshoe.
According to Klein, the project is incorporating current themes from the casino with some holiday relics found buried in the formerly closed Higbee Building. One of the biggest attractions is a Christmas tree that was used in the department store before it closed more than a decade ago.
"[The] tree was found on the fourth-floor in the building and it was all dusty,” said Klein. “We have restored it and brought it back to life. The star was part of it and that was also up on the fourth-floor, so we were really happy that we were able to find that.”
A staff of 30 people has been working nearly around-the-clock in a warehouse outside Cleveland and all the decorations will be moved downtown to the casino. "We've executed - in the last six weeks - about '18 man months' of assembly work, just getting all the decor assembled and ready to go in," said Richard Hartman, the project manager.
Along with several old Christmas trees from Higbee’s, the casino will be adorned with another touch that will bring back memories for shoppers. "Higbee's used to have large arches and the garland used to span the arch, to bring back the old Higbee's feel, the designers came up with building new arches,” said Hartman.
According to Hartman, they were given one directive by the casino marketing team when they accepted the job. "We were told, when they [casino patrons] walk through the door, make them cry."
The holiday decorations will be setup beginning next week and coincide with Cleveland’s Winterfest celebration on November 24th.
*Read more about the Cleveland casino here.*