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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 openings and expansions for May 2024

20 May 2024

By Dan Ippolito
The summer season is almost here in the U.S. and casino across the country are making upgrades and changes to stay ahead of the competition, from fresh culinary delights to expanded gaming options to luxurious accommodations.

Let’s take a look at 10 U.S. casino destinations that have either renovated or even opened for the first time for guests in recent weeks.

10. Lisa Vanderpump adds new restaurant at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe
On 18 April, television star and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump hosted a star-studded opening of her latest restaurant, Wolf by Vanderpump at Harvey's Lake Tahoe.

Vanderpump was joined by some of her famous friends, including fellow Bravo TV star Garcelle Beauvais, as well as “Drag Race” star Trixie Mattel, singer Leona Lewis and actors Jesse Bradford and Andrea Watrouse. The cast from Vanderpump’s latest show, “Vanderpump Villa,” also joined the celebration.

The cocktail menu features creations that will only be available at Wolf, including the signature Sheep’s Clothing, a jalapeño vodka and strawberry martini with notes of lime and jalapeño honey and fluff of cotton candy featuring 18-karat edible gold flakes on top.

The menu begins with appetizers like the Wolf Signature Bread stuffed with pull-apart herb and cheese, hickory smoked cornflake crusted Bourbon Chicken Wings, and Lobster Crisps and continues with hearty dishes like Ken’s Guinness Fish ‘N’ Chips, Wolf’s Signature Double Smash Burger and a Bone-In New York Strip with smashed potatoes and blue cheese cream.

9. Rampart Casino Summerlin’s new high limit slot room
Rampart Casino Resort at Summerlin, the 50,000-square-foot casino at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, announced the opening of its high limit slots room at the end of April.

To celebrate the grand opening, Rampart Casino introduced a "Must Hit by Jackpot" exclusive to the high limit slots room. The progressive jackpot starts at $15,000 and is guaranteed to hit by $25,000, adding an extra layer of excitement for players who can hit the bonus jackpot while playing their favorite slots.

The centerpiece of the room is the introduction of a high-end bar, open daily for high limit customers. The bar features a signature cocktail menu crafted with top-shelf liquors and a selection of fine wines available by the glass or bottle.

8. Green Valley Ranch opens summer hangout
On Friday, 3 May, The Pond at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino reopened for the season, ushering in an adults-only pool experience. The Pond welcomes guests Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offer a poolside solace through Sunday, 1 September.

The Pond provides pool-goers a secluded Vegas retreat complete with a private bar with an expanded cocktail menu, live entertainment, bottle service and poolside dining.

The menu boasts highlights including a lobster roll, an upscale take on a classic cheeseburger and a sushi boat with a variety to suit any palate, while the cocktail menu makes for the perfect way to toast to new summer memories.

7. Soft opening for Chicken Ranch Casino Resort
Chicken Ranch Casino Resort will begin welcoming guests on Monday, 15 July with a soft opening that includes the nine-story resort, a five-story hotel, and an expanded gaming floor. The destination will feature 197 hotel rooms, including suites and a collection of restaurants and bars.

A grand opening celebration for the California property is scheduled for fall 2024, during which the property will open the remaining restaurants and bars, and the 12,000-square-foot event space.

6. Trackside sportsbook coming to Monmouth Park
Earlier this month, Monmouth Park and Caesars Entertainment celebrated the start of construction on a trackside sportsbook and entertainment complex.

The New Jersey facility and full-service restaurant combo is set to open in 2025, featuring 16,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor sports viewing with wall-to-wall flatscreen televisions, food from nationally known restaurant partner Shake Shack, and more than 25 self-service betting kiosks.

A ceremonial groundbreaking event was held on 7 May, featuring representatives from Monmouth Park, Caesars Sportsbook, and local dignitaries who planted golden shovels in the ground to mark the occasion.

5. The Cordish Companies to build new Virginia resort
Bruce Smith Enterprise and The Cordish Companies have been selected by the City of Petersburg to co-develop a $1.4 billion Live! Gaming & Entertainment District, anchored by Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia.

Upon completion, Live! Casino & Hotel Virginia will feature the following:

- More than 400,000 square feet of gaming, hotel and dining space
- 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space
- A 200-room hotel featuring 20 suites, resort pool and fitness center
- 1,600 slot machines
- 46 live action table games, including a 15-table poker room
- High limit slot and table areas and a sportsbook
- A 3,000-seat entertainment venue for talent from across Virginia and the greater region, as well as for meetings, conventions and social gatherings
- Eight food and entertainment options, including three spaces that will be reserved for local Petersburg restauranteurs and businesses
- Free surface parking

4. El Cortez Hotel and Casino announces enhancement plans
El Cortez Hotel & Casino, a landmark in downtown Las Vegas since 1941, announced a $20 million property-wide expansion that will include the addition of a new high limit lounge, two new bars, a new restaurant and a Starbucks.

The casino plans to begin renovations this summer, with the final phase of the expansion set to be unveiled in early 2025.

The project will include expanding the casino’s footprint by 10,000 square feet and renovating 4,000 square feet of the existing casino floor. As part of the expansion, the property will debut two new bars, including a roulette bar and a show bar featuring a 20 foot x 10 foot screen that will play black and white films and live sports action.

3. Eureka Casino Resort announces $100 million remodel project
America’s only 100% employee-owned casino company is committing itself to a $40 million first phase of a $100 million long-term property-wide reinvestment at Eureka Casino Resort.

The project at the Mesquite, Nevada resort kicked off with the expansion and remodeling of its signature steakhouse, Gregory’s Mesquite Grill. Following that is a comprehensive remodel of the hotel and an expansion and renovation of the entire casino floor and restaurant outlets.

Eureka has already completed remodeling a ballroom that accommodates up to 150 guests.

The $40 million Phase 1 plan will be an investment in the current resort, centered around a comprehensive casino and restaurant remodel, including a complete exterior remodel as well as guest rooms at the hotel.

Phase 2 will center around earthwork and infrastructure that unlocks the undeveloped 35 acres of land on top of Eureka’s famous red mesa. This land will be used for resort condominiums and apartments.

2. ESPN BET opens first retail sportsbook
On 24 April, Hollywood Casino at Greektown unveiled its new ESPN BET branded sportsbook and restaurant on the upper floor of the 100,000-square-foot Downtown Detroit casino. This sportsbook is the first ESPN BET branded retail location to open across PENN Entertainment’s portfolio of properties.

The ESPN BET sportsbook and restaurant offers guests approximately 4,500 square-feet of betting and dining space, with wagering kiosks, big-screen TVs, a 30-foot video wall for a sports viewing experience and bar food and drink.

1. The Venetian Las Vegas unveils largest renovation in its 25-year history
Twenty-five years ago, The Venetian Las Vegas made waves when it pioneered the convention-hotel concept and delivered Venice’s canals to the Las Vegas desert, gondoliers and all.

At the start of this month, coinciding with its birthday, the iconic resort unveiled a new era ushered in by its $1.5 billion reinvestment project.

The Las Vegas resort’s imagining touches everything from a rebrand of The Venetian’s iconic lion logo to a redesign of the resort’s greatest assets, its suites, which remain the largest standard room on The Strip.

Available for stays beginning in September 2024, all 4,000 suites in The Venetian towers, including signature suites will be completely updated.

Beyond the accommodations, the redevelopment delivers more offerings to Las Vegas including the addition of new chef-led culinary concepts, to be announced later this year. The Venetian also made a commitment to invest $188 million dollars in the renovation of the resort's Convention Center.

"The Venetian Resort’s innovative spirit has had a massive impact on Las Vegas over the last 25 years and paved the way for our visionary $1.5 billion reinvestment today,” said Patrick Nichols, president and chief executive officer of The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. “This redevelopment marks more than just a surface-level renovation, it signifies a deep understanding of our guests and a profound reimagining of an iconic resort unlike any other in history. The beauty of this project lies within the balance of the beloved familiar and the never-before-seen.”
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