Usually, the excitement in Columbus rises as the Ohio State football team meets traditional rival Michigan, but Monday morning, on this Columbus Day celebration, the residents of Central Ohio were treated to the glitz, glamour and thrill of Las Vegas with the opening of Hollywood Casino Columbus.
The much ballyhooed opening of the casino, built and being operated by Penn National Gaming Inc., drew thousands as company president and chief operating officer Tim Wilmott cut the ribbon, assisted by Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman; football great Archie Griffin, a two-time Heisman Trophy winner; former heavyweight boxing champion “Buster” Douglas, and Hollywood and Las Vegas favorite Ann-Margaret.
Wilmott branded the new casino as “the region’s largest and newest gaming destination,” and offered the company’s appreciation to the Ohio officials and the state’s voters who made the casino possible.
The casino, that employs some 2,000 full and part-time team members, is located just off a main highway, making it accessible to the entire Central Ohio valley.
Casino patrons are greeted by a five million-gallon reflecting pool flanked by a nearly 50-foot high, V-shaped media wall that sets the tone for the glitzy interior that the owners promised. The casino floor, with its 3,000 slot machines, and surrounding dining areas transport guests to the Golden Age of Hollywood, with elegant chandeliers, art deco columns and posters of movie classics.
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