Harrah's to Turn Into Hollywood Casino Nov. 2
Hollywood Casino will feature new slot machines and themes as well as a new Boogie Nights nightclub in the former Voodoo Lounge space.
Harrah's Casino will officially be rebranded as Hollywood Casino effective Nov. 2 at 9 a.m.
Tony Carlucci, general manager of the new Hollywood Casino, said half of the current Harrah's Casino will be closed for a week beginning Sunday.
When it reopens Nov. 2, it will be rebranded Hollywood Casino. The rest of the casino will change theme by Nov. 6, Carlucci said.
In May, Harrah's was sold to Penn National Gaming, Inc. for $610 million. The deal is expected to close Nov. 2, which will make the Maryland Heights casino the 14th Hollywood Casino and 29th gaming or racing facility for Penn National—other locations include the Argosy Alton casino, Hollywood Casinos in Joliet, IL; Baton Rouge, LA; and The M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas.
The Harrah's-to-Hollywood transition will be done in phases, with the current casino's Island Casino portion being shut down Oct. 28, to be refurbished and reopened as Hollywood Casino Nov. 2.
The current casino's Mardis Gras Casino portion, which features more table games, will shut down beginning Nov. 2 and open in phases beginning Nov. 6.
Penn National is pumping $61 million into the rebranding over the next six to nine months, which will include new slot machines and themes, and a new Boogie Nights nightclub in the previous Voodoo Lounge space.
Carlucci also expects upgrades in the casino's hotel rooms and restaurants.
"Right now, the restaurants will stay the same," he said. "But we'll look and find out from customers. Obviously, Charlie Gitto's is very popular and we hope to continue that relationship. But we will lok at the other relationships (with restaurants) and see how we can improve on them."
The new nightclub, Boogie Nights, won't be open for several months, Carlucci said. But the concept will be a cross over all generations, with the club playing mostly 70s and 80s music.
"It's not just a young person's nightclub. It will be young to old," Carlucci said.
Now, Penn National operates the Boogie Nights nighclub concept at its Atlantic City, NJ; Lawrenceburg, IN; and Baton Rouge, LA, locations.
Carlucci said the casino has already begun mailing current Harrah's rewards members about key player changes.
Among some of the key changes include:
- Players existing tier status under former program is matched by Marquee Rewards
- All existing and available comp points earned at Harrah’s St. Louis added to Marquee Rewards card on Nov. 2
- Downloadable Free SlotPlay offered for the first time. Players simply insert card and monthly offers can be used that day on any machine.
- ATM fees reduced from $5.99 to $4.50
- Harrah’s St. Louis casino chips can be redeemed at Cashier’s Cage through Jan. 31,2013
- All Harrah’s Fast Cash Tickets must be used by Nov. 2, 2012
Carlucci said most of the Harrah's staff has been retained. Hollywood also added 50 new hires in October.
"We'll have the same faces customers have always loved," he said. "The biggest change will be some peole at the top we’ll change out."
For now the hotel portion of the casino will remain the same. In the future, that will change, Carlucci said.
Here's the official timeline regarding the transition:
- Oct. 28: Island Casino shuts down for conversion to Hollywood Casino system
- Nov. 1: Signage begins to change to Hollywood Casino St. Louis
- Nov. 2: New ownership/operation begins at 9 a.m.; Island Casino resumes operation; Mardi Gras casino shuts down for conversion
- Nov. 6: Mardi Gras casino resumes operation