Cannery celebrates opening of $175-Million Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Apr 15, 2009 8:05 PM
Staff & Wire Reports |

Officials for Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts (CCR) today delivered on their promise to create a world-class entertainment destination with something for everyone when they opened the $175-million, 350,000-square-foot Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

The first to open in southwestern Pennsylvania, the state-of-the-art casino includes 3,700 slot machines, an electronic table-games pit, top-shelf restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the race track, a new racing grandstand, bowling center, simulcast area, and VIP super boxes.

Casino officials were joined by members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, community leaders, elected officials and Meadows guests.

A loyal Meadows customer, Marjorie Harrigan of Clairton joined Meadows officials in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to usher in the crowd. Two years ago, she was randomly chosen from the crowd to cut the ribbon to the temporary casino.

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The grand opening comes after a highly successful testing that generated $254,000, to be donated by The Meadows to more than 50 area volunteer fire departments.

"Today is the culmination of nearly five years of hard work by so many people," said Bill Paulos, a principal of Cannery Casino Resorts, which also owns the Rampart, Cannery and Eastside Cannery casinos in Las Vegas. "The Meadows is among the finest gaming facilities on the East Coast. By fully integrating horse racing and gaming, while adding great restaurants, live entertainment and an all-ages bowling center, we have created a true entertainment destination that everyone can enjoy. This shows how a community and region can benefit when private enterprise, local government leaders and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board work as partners."

Like its sister properties in Las Vegas, the Meadows’ gaming floor includes a wide array of slot machines, including popular games such as Wheel of Fortune, Hot Hot Penny, Keno, video roulette, Monopoly, Star Wars and eBay. Guests can play more than 1,600 slot machines that cost as little as a penny and other machines with denominations ranging up to $25.

The Meadows’ electronic table-games pit, located in the center of the gaming floor in front of the main bar, Pacers, features 10 electronic blackjack tables and two three-card poker tables, allowing up to 60 players to play the tables at one time.

For harness-racing enthusiasts, the complex features a new, covered grandstand area overlooking the historic racetrack and a 200-seat simulcast area. Providing a select view of the racetrack, VIP super boxes are situated on the top level of the casino and are available for rent.

The PIPA Group brings Pittsburgh-area chef Greg Alauzen to Bistecca, an Italian steakhouse located on the top floor of the casino, featuring exquisite food and breathtaking views. Alauzen is well known for his creativity and flair at several Pittsburgh-area restaurants owned by The PIPA Group, including Cioppino and Caffe Amante.

The Terrace Cafe features classic American cuisine from coast to coast. With seating for 450, the cafe provides guests with Italian, Southwest, Greek, Creole, Dutch and even local regional favorites. Homemade soups, fresh salads, overstuffed sandwiches, zesty appetizers and seafood all are on the menu.

For those looking for something quick, The Meadows’ 327-seat Food Court features several specialty micro-restaurants.

"Not only do we believe we have created a unique venue that everyone can enjoy, but we have made it a priority to continually identify ways to give back to a community and region that have provided us with tremendous support and encouragement," said Meadows Vice President and General Manager Michael Graninger. "Whether it’s community leaders, elected officials or our guests, everyone has done what they can to help us arrive at this point today. On behalf of our 1,000 employees, I want to extend my heartfelt thank you to all."