May 11, 2017

Hotel At Live! Casino And Hotel On Schedule For Early 2018 Opening

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Hotel At Live! Casino And Hotel On Schedule For Early 2018 Opening

The long-anticipated hotel portion of Live! Casino and Hotel is steadily taking shape in Hanover, Md., as construction workers hold to an ambitious building schedule.

The first level of what eventually will be a 17-story hotel tower is flanked by the beginnings of the lobby and spa on one side and the early stages of a parking garage and events center on the other. The $200 million addition to the casino near Arundel Mills Mall is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018, according to company officials. A ground-breaking ceremony was held in September 2016.

"We're about 50-percent done … and at this point we're about to start building the actual rooms," said Rob Norton, president of Cordish Global Gaming, as he surveyed the construction site from the top floor of an adjacent parking garage.

With foundation work completed, Norton said, the hotel will start rising at a clip of a floor every two weeks.

Once completed, the hotel will have about 310 rooms and suites, additional restaurants and an events center large enough to stage big-time entertainment.

"It provides us with an incredible amenity -- luxury hotel rooms, an events center, a spa -- that will help us create Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel as a true destination resort," Norton said, "and allow us to reach further out to populations further from here to bring in people for an overnight experience, an entertainment experience."

Most immediately, the construction has provided a shot-in-the-arm economically for the region.

"We've already spent tens of millions of dollars to build what we have to date, and at the end of the day, this will be over a $200 million project and we'll be doing a lot of local sourcing within the community with women- and minority-owned businesses," Norton said.

Once completed, the hotel complex will also add to the casino-hotel complex's permanent employment.

"We're anticipating an additional 400 jobs here at Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel," Norton said. "What we expect, after it's all said and done, is that there will be 4,000 people working here, which in itself is an awesome economic story."

Since opening its first phase in 2012 with slot machines and electronic casino games and then through expansions to live table games and the opening of a 52-table poker room, Live! Casino has compiled an impressive record as one of the top-earning casinos in the Mid-Atlantic.

Even with competition from Horseshoe Casino Baltimore to the north and more recently, MGM National Harbor in Prince George's County to the south, the Live! Casino in Anne Arundel County has recently registered monthly casino revenues in the range of $45 million or better.

The hotel can only improve Live!'s position. For one thing, it'll be one more way to reward the casino's better customers. And, as Norton pointed out, the events center -- together with luxury accommodations -- is an opportunity to attract guests from outside the casino's normal geographic reach.

The events center will have 1,500 to 2,000 seats.

"That will allow us to bring in some very large-name entertainment and really allow us to put Hanover, Maryland, and Live! Casino and Hotel on the map from an entertainment standpoint," Norton said.

Live! Casino and Hotel officials have pointed out that a key to the operation's success is that it reflects the values of a family-run business with local roots. David Cordish is the CEO and chairman, and Joe Weinberg is the CEO of Cordish Global Gaming. Cordish's sons also hold executive positions.

"What makes us who we are … [is] that we are a family-friendly, locally owned business," Norton said. "And you put that resort combination, that luxury combination [of the new hotel] with the local, family-friendly mix, and I think we have an incredible recipe for success for our customers, our team members and for our community."