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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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Top 10 casino openings and expansions

18 Feb 2019

By Dan Ippolito
With so much attention on legalized sports gambling, coverage has been heavy on sportsbook openings. However, in the last couple of months there have been several other key openings and expansions at casinos that do not involve sportsbooks. Here we take a look at 10 new additions or upgrades that casinos have unveiled since our last edition. 10. Mott 32 opens at The Palazzo On 28 December, Mott 32, one of Hong Kong’s most award-winning restaurants, officially opened its first U.S. location with a star-studded reception and gala at The Palazzo at The Venetian Las Vegas. During the grand opening celebration, guests sipped cocktails and sampled dishes from Mott 32’s acclaimed menu, including barbecue Pluma Iberico pork, minced duck in a lettuce cup and crispy sugar-coated barbecue pork buns. 9. Caesars Entertainment to open its first nongaming hotel in US As part of its plan to expand its brands and loyalty network through its licensing strategy, Caesars Entertainment announced plans to open Caesars Republic Scottsdale. This will be the company’s first nongaming hotel in the U.S. The Arizona hotel will be a four-star hotel developed by HCW Development and operated by Aimbridge Hospitality. "We look forward to partnering with HCW Development and Aimbridge Hospitality to create a world-class experience in one of the nation's most desirable communities," said Caesars Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Frissora. This modern 11-story glass structure with 266 rooms will be developed at the intersection of North Goldwater and East Highland Avenue. The location will allow Caesars Republic Scottsdale guests the ability to walk to the state's most elegant mall. Caesars Republic Scottsdale will house a 7,000-square foot column-free ballroom with 34-foot sliding glass doors that open out onto the adjacent lawn, suitable for outdoor events for up to 600 people 8. Lakeside Casino opens new bingo room Lakeside Casino & RV Park, located in Pahrump, Nevada, unveiled its new Lakeside bingo room on 18 December, followed by a week-long celebration of bingo offerings. The grand opening celebration featured Vegas pays all day and a $500 bonus on any cash ball. Lakeside Bingo offers a selection of ongoing gold, silver and bronze electronic packages. The gold package includes three small rainbows and two level-ones when you purchase three small rainbows and one super coverall, priced at $41 for handheld and $42 for stationary; the silver package includes two small rainbows and two level-ones when you purchase two small rainbows and one super coverall, priced at $29 for handheld and $30 for stationary; and the bronze package includes three level-ones when you purchase two level-ones and one super coverall, priced at $16 for handheld and $17 for stationary. The 2,626 square foot bingo room offers seating for more than 100 guests. 7. Stratosphere rebrands to The STRAT On Super Bowl Sunday, the Stratosphere, Casino, Hotel & Tower began its transition to The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod. “The Stratosphere is a Las Vegas icon, so in acquiring the property we chose to preserve that quality while also reimagining the resort through a comprehensive remodel that spans from the tower to the main casino floor,” said Steve Arcana, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden Entertainment. The STRAT will continue its evolution of the property in 2019 with the introduction of BLVD & Main Taphouse; View Lounge, offering a full bar and signature cocktails with views of the casino floor; and the Race and Sports Book, a fully remodeled sportsbook equipped with an immersive LED wraparound wall and the highest level of wagering technology, operated by William Hill. BLVD & Main, View Lounge and the Race and Sports Book will open this spring at the northwest corner of the main casino floor, with convenient access from the main entrance. On top of all of that, The STRAT will be the first of Golden Entertainment’s properties to introduce the True Rewards program. 6. Downtown Grand announces expansion In conjunction with the property’s five-year anniversary, Downtown Grand Las Vegas announced expanding the footprint of its hospitality space by over 250,000 square feet in mid-2020 with the addition of a new tower. Anchored by seven guest-room floors and adding 495 new rooms to the property’s existing inventory of 629, the Downtown Grand’s third tower will redefine the intersection of 4th and Ogden. Guests will also experience a significant increase in the suite life, with a premier room list that includes 67 studio units, 20 one-bedroom suites, and three Presidential Suites each boasting nearly 1,500 square feet of living space. 5. New poker room at Jamul Casino On Friday, Jamul Casino, located in San Diego county, united hundreds of local poker players with celebrities and professional players for a chance at the $50,000 prize pool in the inaugural Golden Cap poker tournament. Included in the celebrity line-up were poker pro Tiffany Michelle and ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad, as well as numerous others. Adjacent to the High Limit Room at Jamul Casino, the new Poker Room features 10 high-action tables, table-side dining and full bar service. "We are constantly listening to our guests and are thrilled to accommodate the growing market for a high-stakes Poker Room. The Jamul Casino Poker Room will be a popular addition to the casino," said Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village of California. 4. Binion’s Gambling Hall opened hotel and revolving bar Binion's Gambling Hall in Las Vegas is proud to announce the addition of two major new attractions Whiskey Licker Up and Hotel Apache. Whiskey Licker Up is a full-service saloon with a huge rotating bar as its centerpiece. The 6,500-square-foot facility will be located directly above the original Whiskey Licker Bar overlooking the First Street Stage. Whiskey Licker Up will offer drinks, dining, dancing, live entertainment and even a mechanical bull. Hotel Apache will feature 81 rooms with vintage-style furnishings reminiscent of the original Hotel Apache that opened in 1932. The property also has a long history of eerie occurrences that will appeal to many people. 3. Corona Casino opens in Vietnam The Corona Resort and Casino in Phu Quoc became the first casino to allow Vietnamese to gambling after it opened in mid-January. The resort features 2,000 hotel rooms, 10 villas, a convention center, a theater, a shopping mall, a water park, a spa, restaurants, bars, Vinpearl amusement park, a safari park and an 18-hole golf course. To gain access to the casino, guests must pay $43 for a ticket that gives them 24 hours. 2. Rivers Casino unveils new Harbor Suite at The Landing Hotel Available now for public use, the nearly 1,700-square-foot Harbor Suite overlooks the majestic Mohawk Harbor and is located above Druthers in Schenectady near Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady. “Every guest at the Harbor Suite will get a feel for Schenectady’s history just by walking through the space,” said Julie Maleski-Putzel of JMP Interiors. The Harbor Suite features two bedrooms with king-sized beds, walk-in closets, full-size vanities and 55’ TVs; two full bathrooms; a complete kitchen with full-sized refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher; an expansive living area with plenty of seating and 65-inchTV; and a 300-square-foot balcony with views of the Mohawk River. The suite sleeps six comfortably and, with room for as many as 30 guests, is available to the public for corporate functions, wedding events, chef’s tables and long-term stay. 1. $260 million expansion at Sycuan Casino Sycuan Casino Resort and Clique Hospitality announced a partnership as a part of Sycuan's $260 million expansion. Clique is set to open and operate a steakhouse, a luxury cocktail lounge and an "idyllic" pool experience. "Bull & Bourbon will bring an innovative approach to classic steakhouse cuisine," said Aldo Negrete, executive chef at Bull & Bourbon. "We will feature steaks cut from our in-house butcher program along with select cuts from our on-site aging room.” Elicit Bar & Lounge is a high-end cocktail lounge serving artisanal cocktails, craft beers, wines and Asian-inspired appetizers. Guests can listen to soundtracks from DJs while enjoying food and drinks. Retreat Pool and Cabanas is an outdoor venue featuring two pools, a lazy river and an expansive pool deck furnished with oversized daybeds and cabanas. The poolside menu features seasonal bites and a full bar serving fresh mojitos, margaritas and champagne-infused cocktails.
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