See Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino
If you are one of the fortunate ones who have acquired an entry ticket or wristband for the Grand Opening of Cleveland’s Horseshoe Casino this coming Monday evening, May 14th, at 9:30 p.m. then you’ll likely be queuing up in the shadow of the City’s grand gray lady, the Terminal Tower. Entry for us regular folk will be restricted to the new facility’s south entry doors on Prospect Avenue, just west of Ontario Street. Those who are considered VIPs (or perhaps just inveterate gamblers) may enter the Casino through its north doors, fronting on the City’s Public Square.
The Horseshoe Casino is unique in that it will be one of the only Vegas-style casinos situated in the heart of a major U.S. city. But if you won’t be attending the Grand Opening, or you’re not sure when you’ll get a chance to visit the new gamin facility, you can familiarize yourself with it a bit just by continuing to read this article.
Residents of Northeast Ohio will of course recognize the Casino’s home as the former abode of the historic Higbee Company downtown department store. Built long ago as one of the key components of the mixed-use Terminal Tower complex of interconnected structures, The Higbee Company ably served the shopping needs of generations of Clevelanders.
Now, the former emporium’s landmark-status architecture sports a minimalist make-over for its new life as a gaming hall: a thorough cleaning, subdued signage, multiple black awnings splashed with golden horseshoes, a veritable picket fence of repetitive flagpoles and flags, and dramatic new night lighting.
The gaming floors of the Horseshoe will range over nearly 2-1/4 acres of carpeted opulence, offering gambling via 65 different table games and several thousand slot machines. The World Series of Poker will command 30 tables in its own setting, while several bars and a cluster of food options will provide refreshment and sustenance to guests. A future much larger second phase of the Casino is being planned for land to the south and west of Huron Road, overlooking the hairpin bends of the Cuyahoga River and remaining Flats industry beyond.
As an integral part of Tower City Center, the Casino benefits from direct interior — and, importantly for often cold and blustery Cleveland, weather-protected — access to all that the surrounding mixed-use development has to offer. Both The Renaissance Cleveland and The Ritz-Carlton hotels are connected by a few minutes’ stroll through Tower City’s grand lobby and retail concourses. In addition to its variety of shops and vendors, The Avenue at Tower City sports such eateries as It’s Greek to You, The Hard Rock Café, its own multi-vendor food court, and the Tower 230 Bar and Grille, among others. Morton’s The Steakhouse and Muse at The Ritz are also immediately accessible.
Beneath the multiple concourse levels of Tower City Center lies the central downtown hub of the City’s radiating light rail rapid-transit train lines. From this terminal at the base of the Terminal Tower, various transit lines spider eastward and westward to the far-flung suburbs, as well as to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. (One can thus fly into Cleveland and dine, shop, sleep, and partake of some films, a Cavs game, or a stretch at the gaming tables, all without ever stepping out of doors!)
Public Square and all of its significant landmarks — Key Tower, The Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the statue of Moses Cleaveland, Old Stone Church, and The Society for Savings Building — are spread out before the Horseshoe Casino’s north entrance. The Marriott at Key Center is but a few minutes’ walk across Public Square, with Cleveland’s vibrant Lake Erie shore just a bit farther on, studded with such attractions as Voinovich Park, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, The William G. Mather Steamship, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and The Great Lakes Science Center.
To the immediate south and east of the Horseshoe lie its Valet Parking Welcome Center, and the self-parked Gateway garage. The dual sports venues of the Gateway complex — Quicken Loans Arena and its resident Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters, and Progressive Field, Home of the Cleveland Indians — are within several hundred yards of the Casino.
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