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Top 10 openings and expansions for summer 2021

5 Jul 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Last week, Resorts World Las Vegas celebrated its highly-anticipated grand opening, becoming the first new ground-up casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip in over a decade. While the lavish $4.3 billion property stole many of the headlines in recent weeks, we have plenty if other openings and expansions to report on from across the U.S. since our last edition.

10. Amalfi opens at Caesars Palace
On Friday, 18 June, Amalfi by Bobby Flay at Caesars Palace hosted its grand opening event, welcoming guests to the Amalfi Coast-inspired destination.

"Opening Amalfi at Caesars Palace has allowed me to showcase my passion for the Amalfi Coast and the fresh flavors the region is known for," said Flay.

The 30-seat bar and 40-seat lounge area feature a vibrant sunset glow as the venue is framed by a colorful limestone mosaic floor and teak wood beams. The grille/main dining room features heavily textured limestone walls and antique brass as it wraps to showcase the bustling kitchen and towering ceilings with displays of wine from various regions throughout the Amalfi Coast.

9. New sportsbook coming to Colorado casino
Jacobs Entertainment, in partnership with SuperBook Sports, held an opening ceremony for the new, state of the art traditional sports book, The SuperBook at the Lodge Casino, on Friday, 25 June at The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk, Colorado.

SuperBook Sports, the largest and one of the most successful sports books in the U.S., also currently operates the renowned SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

This nearly 7,000 square foot sportsbook at Lodge Casino is home to 28 televisions, including a full-loaded bar. Patrons can place wagers at three betting windows, visiting one of the kiosks located throughout the casino floor, or sit and enjoy the game while betting on the mobile app.

8. $500,000 track renovation at Yonkers Raceway
Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts saw the fruition of a renovation project completed on its 122-year-old historic Yonkers Raceway during the regularly scheduled June racing break.

MGM Resorts invested $500,000 in the regrading and reconstruction of Yonkers Raceway, the first renovation at the track since 2006.

Project preparations began in January 2021 with visits to more than a dozen quarries to identify the perfect track materials to sustain a track that sees more race days than any other track in the country, including during problematic northeast wintery weather conditions. Renovations began Memorial Day weekend and were completed on Wednesday, 9 June, the day harness racing fans were welcomed back to the track.

As much as 8,000 tons (16 million pounds) of new surface material, along with 6,000 tons of recycled track material (12 million pounds) and 64 tons of lime (128,000 pounds), paved the way for a new and improved half-mile oval. The entire track was resurfaced and regraded, including raising the turns as much as a foot and placed at 14 degree banks.

7. Las Vegas Convention Center expansion debuts
In early June, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority debuted the Las Vegas Convention Center’s $1 billion, 1.4 million square foot West Hall expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by doors opening to Informa Markets' World of Concrete, the first major convention to return to Las Vegas and to the U.S. post-pandemic.

The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, the underground tunnel developed by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company designed to shuttle convention attendees throughout the 200-acre campus in all-electric Tesla vehicles, also became fully operational.

“This convention reinvigorates our commitment to be bold in how we envision the future of infrastructure and recovery of our state and this is only the beginning,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “We are back in Las Vegas and there is no better or safer place to come to have a convention than Las Vegas.

The West Hall features a contemporary design, an abundance of natural light and 600,000 square feet of exhibition space, including 328,000 square feet of column-free space, the largest column-free exhibition space in North America.

6. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort to complete expansion in fall
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina is set to complete its four-year expansion project this fall. The $250 million development, which broke ground June 2018, includes a brand new 725-room hotel tower, 83,000-square-foot convention space, new food and beverage offerings and more.

Becoming the resort’s fourth hotel tower, The Cherokee will begin welcoming guests this fall. Located adjacent to the brand-new convention center, the 19-story tower will feature 725 rooms and seven suites.

The resort will also open a brand new 83,000-square-foot meetings and conventions space this fall, more than tripling the current rentable convention space.

5. William Hill Sportsbook opens at Capital One Arena
William Hill, a part of Caesars Entertainment, officially opened its full Washington, D.C. sportsbook on 26 May at Capital One Arena, the first sportsbook in a U.S. professional sports facility.

William Hill signed an agreement with Monumental Sports & Entertainment in October 2019 to build and operate a sportsbook at Capital One Arena. Last July, a temporary sportsbook space came to life with betting windows and self-service kiosks.

Now the 18,000-square foot, two-floor sportsbook is filled with wall-to-wall LEDs, D.C. sports memorabilia and even a restaurant with the concept designed by a local Michelin-starred chef.

Besides the ticket windows and self-service kiosks, the William Hill D.C. Sportsbook App can be accessed within a two-block radius around Capital One Arena.

4. Harrah’s Atlantic City debuts five new venues
The Marina District’s first casino-hotel, Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, debuted five new offerings this spring that introduce a brand-new spa and four new dining, nightlife and entertainment concepts for guests to enjoy.

These enhancements to the overall resort include:
  • The Spa at Harrah’s Resort – a first-class spa experience conveniently situated adjacent to The Pool, Fitness Center, and The Waterfront Conference Center
  • The Lobby Bar – an expanded and upgraded bar experience that will serve as the ultimate pre and post destination for an evening out at the resort with top-shelf selections, craft cocktails, and over 70 variations of whiskey and spirits
  • The Baywalk at Harrah’s – an outdoor, bayside container bar with dining and live music
  • Rum Point Crab House – a fresh crab and seafood restaurant with scenic sunsets and water views
  • A new dining and nightlife experience at the resort’s famous Pool at Harrah’s.
All five new offerings opened in time for Memorial Day weekend, with the first phase of the Atrium Tower project completed this summer.

3. Circa Sports adds sportsbook at The Pass Casino
On 3 May, Circa Sports – the sports betting venture from CEO and downtown Las Vegas casino operator, Derek Stevens – opened its fifth Southern Nevada book at The Pass Casino.

“I’ve always been a fan of Water Street in Henderson, so to launch our fifth Circa Sports book at The Pass is a big moment for Circa Sports,” said Stevens. “Owner Joe DeSimone and his team have done a wonderful job reinventing this property, and we look forward to reaching a new range of customers here.”

The book offers pedestrian access right off Water Street and features two kiosks and three betting windows. Guests can grab a drink at the adjacent Pass Bar, with high-top tables and chairs presenting a prime viewing spot to catch the action on several big-screen TVs.

This sportsbook opening follows another opening back in March when Circa introduced its book at Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas.

Circa Sports also has a book inside the very young Circa Resort & Casino which opened in Downtown Las Vegas in October 2020.

2. Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City to put $20 million toward renovations
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City announced in May that it will reinvest a minimum of $20 million in capital improvements, including suite renovations, the opening of a new Starbucks, additional slots and table games, a new dining outlet and a refresh of beachfront amenities.

The majority of the investment will go towards renovating 66 Celebrity and 25 Roxy suites. Additionally, all standard hotel rooms have been improved with new flatscreen television monitors and LED lighting. The upgraded suites and rooms provide an attractive luxury escape for tourists visiting Atlantic City.

The new Starbucks opened in late May and is located with Boardwalk access adjacent to the Hard Rock Café.

Additional gaming units will be created in the Asian and High Limit areas.

1. Harrah’s Las Vegas unveils $200 million renovation
Following a completed investment of more than $200 million, Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel now features 2,542 redesigned guest rooms, a complete casino floor remodel and two new LED marquees at the north and south entrances.

The Las Vegas Strip property completed the redesign of all 2,542 rooms and suites in 2020, including the Mountain Tower with an additional investment of $70 million.

Harrah's Las Vegas has enhanced the guest experience with an elegant casino floor featuring upgraded lighting, floor and ceiling tiling, carpeting and modern restrooms.

The Spa at Harrah's Las Vegas, located on the 4th floor of the Valley Tower, is now open Friday through Sunday. Popular treatments include the Deep Tissue Massage, Signature Facial Experience and Moisturizing Body Exfoliation.

The CAESARS FORUM Skybridge conveniently connects Harrah's Las Vegas to the 550,000-square-foot conference center.
 
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