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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Live! Casino & Hotel keeping up with the competition

27 Aug 2018

By Dan Ippolito
Live Casino and Hotel first opened back in 2012.

Live Casino and Hotel first opened back in 2012. (photo by Live! Casino & Hotel)

Live! Casino & Hotel, located in Hanover, Maryland, opened its first phase back in 2012. Since then, two other casinos have made Maryland home, including MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, which sits about 20 miles away.

It can be tough to compete with a casino with the name MGM attached to it, but Live! has managed to do so. The casino, which was developed and is operated by The Cordish Companies, has introduced several new amenities to show that it will not fall under the shadow of MGM National Harbor.

"The combination of the quality of our facility and amenities and the convenience of our location to the Baltimore and DC metro areas allows us to thrive in a competitive environment," Rob Norton, President of Cordish Global Gaming and Live! Casino & Hotel, told Casino City. "With our company being family and locally owned, we are here to stay and will continue to invest in our customers, team members and our facility to remain the prominent player."

To that end, Live! Casino officially opened the new flagship, luxury Live! Hotel in June.

The Maryland casino is known for a mix of slots and table games.

The Maryland casino is known for a mix of slots and table games. (photo by Live! Casino & Hotel)

The hotel adds 350,000 square feet of space to Maryland’s largest gaming facility. It is home to 310 guest rooms, two new restaurants, an Event Center and a spa and is the first in the world to carry the Live! brand.

"Live! Hotel was opened to address the tremendous interest in overnight accommodations from frequent guests and new customers of the casino over the past six years," Norton said. "It has always been a part of the plan since day one to offer guests a place to stay that reflects what they experience in the casino — first-class service, a friendly atmosphere and an exciting environment.

"Our regular casino customers will be our most frequent guests, but the hotel, spa, restaurant and Event Center are open to the general public."

In addition to Live! Hotel, there are the Live! Lofts. The boutique hotel is just minutes away from Live! Casino and features 250 newly renovated guest rooms, including 100 suites; the Loft Grill, serving breakfast and dinner; The Pantry, with 24-hour access to sundries, snack items, frozen foods and beverages; a heated indoor pool and whirlpool; a fitness center; and nearly 3,500 square feet of indoor meeting space.

With a casino floor that spans 160,000 square feet, Live! Casino is known for its mix of slots and table games, offering more than 4,000 gaming machines, as well as the Orchid Gaming & Smoking Patio, Maryland's first and only outdoor gaming area, featuring both table games and slots.

But following a major trend in the industry, the property boasts plenty of nongaming amenities.

Live! Casino has an eclectic choice of seven restaurants and offers live entertainment at five venues, including Live! Center Stage, featuring live nightly musical acts and two full-service bars, and The Patio at The Prime Rib, a climate-controlled patio lounge with a retractable roof and large glass fire pit. Club 21 is Maryland’s only private gaming area in a hotel and has stunning views of Anne Arundel County. Live! Spa offers a full menu of services and skin treatments from Villa Floriani, and The Cordish Art Collection showcases a collection of more than 40 contemporary art pieces, including a signed Andy Warhol that was curated exclusively for Live! Hotel.

“The new nongaming amenities solidify Live! Casino & Hotel as a destination for players and non-players alike," Norton said. "This mix of gaming, entertainment, dining and retail position us as a stand-out in the market, and we will continue to be a dominant force regardless of what else is going on at other properties in the region.

"Our customers really enjoy the idea that, when you come to Live!, anything can happen. You walk in the door and the Chairman might hand you a $100 bill or someone might give you the keys to a classic car. We love being spontaneous and delighting our guests. Our loyal customers tell us every day how welcome they feel here, how friendly the staff is, how great the service is, and how easy it is to get to us.”

And more is on the way. The property is opening the new Event Center in two phases. The venue features 40,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space and a regular lineup of headline entertainment.

"In terms of the Live! brand, we continue to look at opportunities in markets where we have entertainment districts," Norton added. "We are also looking elsewhere around the country, and we are even evaluating international projects. We might build hotels from the ground up, or we might acquire existing properties and make them our own. Our expansion agenda is ambitious, and we couldn’t be happier about it.”
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