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Casino brings in city revenue and tourists to Toledo

Steven W. Echard
Hollywood Casino

Since its grand opening in May 2012, Hollywood Casino in Toledo has counted more than 3.4 million visitors, a number above and beyond what was expected.

At a news conference hosted on May 29 to celebrate the casino’s first birthday, General Manager Richard St. Jean said the projected visits for the first year was exceeded by over 600,000.

More than half the people who have been to the casino came from outside of Lucas County. More than 44 percent of the total visitors came from states other than Ohio.

“Success in any business is measured one guest at a time,” St. Jean said, “We are very pleased with our year one results.”

The casino site along the Maumee River opened May 29, 2012, offering entertainment, dining and of course gambling.

Since then the casino has helped bring new people to the Toledo area, helping increase revenue at area hotels, bars and restaurants, St. Jean said. However, the casino has not always been so celebrated.

“The casino started out as a controversial issue,” Mike Bell, mayor of Toledo said. It was a no brainer for him. The casino brought jobs and has helped support city and community organizations, Bell said. Bell said that he is “extremely appreciative” of what the Hollywood Casino has done for Toledo. The tax revenue created by the state’s four casinos has added about $4.3 million to the city’s bank so far.

“If all one-year-old [businesses] could do what they have been able to do in one year, we really would be moving as a city and as a world,” Bell said. “I knew that when I was here on New Year’s Eve and you couldn’t find a seat, something was happening in Toledo that hadn’t happened in awhile.”

Carol Contrada, president of the board of county commissioners said the tax revenue the county had received was approximately $21,000, which was more than predicted. Taxes paid by the casino goes to area counties, schools, cities, etc.

At the news conference, the casino officials were sure to thank the many local suppliers and charities they work with.

“From the start, we have been committed to purchasing our products locally,” St. Jean said.

Officials from local companies such as Oaken Produce, Kellermeyer Company, Tanks Meats and ProMedica were present and said they were proud to service the casino and its patrons.

With help from local suppliers, the Hollywood Casino’s Final Cut Steak & Seafood has been recognized with a four-star rating from Forbes. This makes the Final Cut the only four-star restaurant in all of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

Junior Kristine Girten said that her visits to the casino have been worthwhile. Having been to Las Vegas, she said the atmosphere in the Toledo casino was just the same.

“You don’t feel like you’re in Toledo,” Girten said.

Having gone with a group of fellow University students, Girten said she saw several other university students and alumni playing the tables and slots, identifiable by their Falcon gear.

“I would go again because I had such a great first experience,” Girten said. “It was a very classy establishment.”

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