Penn National gets operator’s license for Columbus Hollywood Casino

on Wednesday, 12 September 2012.

October opening on schedule

Penn National Gaming Inc. took a major step Wednesday in its efforts to open its Columbus casino Oct. 8, securing an operator’s license for the facility from state regulators.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission unanimously approved the license for Central Ohio Gaming Ventures LLC,. a Penn National subsidiary. The vote was another milestone in a process that began three years ago when Ohio voters approved casino gambling in the state.

“There’s been some pain, some fun and challenges,” Ameet Patel, the casino’s vice president and general manager, told the commission. “There is some real excitement and momentum in the building.”

He said Penn National (NASDAQ:PENN) is comfortable the $400 million facility will be ready for what the commission calls a controlled demonstration of all casino operations. It will run from 9 a.m. to midnight on Oct. 3 with up to 10,000 guests to be invited to play the casino’s slot machines, bet on table games and eat at its three restaurants and sports bar.

Bowling Alley Hoping For Perfect Game From Nearby Casino

on Monday, 10 September 2012.

Businesses which are near the new west side casino in Columbus are evaluating whether it's an asset to have this nearby


The area around the new casino has been in the clutch for a long time, but Georgesville Road, especially, has been in the gutter.

That's why places like Western Lanes at the corner of Georgesville Road and Sullivant Avenue are putting so much hope that the Hollywood Casino puts them back in the groove.

Just because of the new next door neighbor, Western Lanes is planning on a $1.5 million upgrade.

"[The] casino is going to bring a lot more traffic by our bowling center, which will definitely enhance the visibility of our building, and we're getting ready to go through on a renovation. Just like they're building a new casino,” said manager Brian Kretzer. “We're getting ready to build almost a whole new bowling center here."


Development Explodes Around Columbus Casino

on Friday, 24 August 2012.

Whether someone is in favor or against the casino, the financial benefit for the area can't be denied.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There's a flurry of construction, redevelopment, and change going on around the site of the new casino in Columbus.Just east of the site on Broad Street, a McDonald's is being built to take the place of another McDonald's.The company wants its newest design for the expected crowds.

On the other end of Broad Street, Big Lots and a Value City Furniture location are getting ready to open.In the middle, between them, Bobby Layman Chevrolet is undergoing massive rebuilding and putting in a new showroom."It’s a great thing,” said Linda Layman. “It's cleaning up and I think that in the next six months to a year you're going to see a different West Broad Street."

Whether someone is in favor or against the casino, the financial benefit for the area can't be denied.Directly across the street from the casino, TJ's Country Place doubled its employees and added another 50 seats.It spent more than $800,000 in renovations to get ready for what is expected to be a financial boom to the area.

"If done properly, we can attract another 3,000 jobs up here," said Auto dealer Chris Haydocy. He was ready to move the dealership his family has had for nearly 60 years. Now, he's staying.He said the value of his property has increased 25 percent in the last year.

"We're just at the very tip of the iceberg if the revitalization that happened,” he said. "I can count seven businesses up and down Broad Street that survived this last decade and now they have invested or they're planning on building. Investing millions of dollars. It's small business, big business."

And then there's the elephant in the room: the Westland Mall. The owner of the Westland Mall said he's working with the county to come up with a development plan for the one-million square feet of space. But he also said it won't be a mall any longer.He's not ready to say what is on the table, but said to expect some announcements in 2013.He also said the Westland Mall redevelopment could create more than 2,000 jobs.

More impressive than the Penn National investment

on Monday, 20 August 2012.

Columbus Hollywood Casino is giving “first looks” to the media today. Even more impressive (in terms of Weston revitalization) is the investments being made near the casino! These investments are being made by large and small business alike. All have fought for years to keep this a economically viable corridor.

These investments include (but are not limited to):

  • The demolition and rebuild of Layman Chevrolet started today.
  • The demolition and rebuild of McDonalds Restaurant (3633 West Broad) started last week.  
  • The construction of a new McDonalds  (Grener Road) started last month.  
  • The construction  of a new Biglots (4620 West Broad) is ongoing.  
  • The rebuild of Huntington National Bank (121 Georgesville Road) is ongoing.
  • The ongoing rebuild of MetroWest Apartments ( Georgesville Road) is ongoing
  • The demolition and rebuild of TeeJay’s (4048 West Broad) is complete.
  • The demolition and rebuild of Georgesville Road is nearing completion.


I am sure several other projects will soon be added to this list.


Chris Haydocy

(614) 279-8880


COTA betting gamblers will roll with buses to casino

on Monday, 06 August 2012.


For some, casinos conjure images of Armani-clad men and Chanel-draped women rolling up to red carpets in limos and Mercedes Benzes.

But the Central Ohio Transit Authority is making available a more utilitarian mode of transportation to the Hollywood Casino Columbus that’s opening soon — city buses.

Starting on Oct. 12, four days after the casino is scheduled to open, buses will run along W. Broad Street from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The route goes through the Arena District and along W. Broad Street to the casino.

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace to Open in Westgate

on Tuesday, 31 July 2012.

Betty's and Surly Girl owners invest in Weston

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace announced today that a new location will open at 2836 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43204 in the Westgate neighborhood. The slated opening for the new restaurant is spring, 2013. 

The new Dirty Frank's location will be twice the size of the original spot in downtown Columbus to better serve it's hungry guests. Dirty Frank's Westgate will continue to serve the same all-beef Vienna hot dogs and Tofurkey veggie dogs, boozy slushies and draught beer that their downtown location is famous for. The larger Dirty Frank's Westgate will also add Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches, hamburgers and cheeseburgers with both beef and veggie versions to their new menu. 


Penn National kicking off job training for casino’s food, beverage workers

on Friday, 27 July 2012.

Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) is taking the next step in its hiring efforts for the new Columbus casino, turning its attention to interviewing and training the people who will cook the food and serve the drinks at the $400 million facility.

Standing in a kitchen at Columbus State Community College on Friday, Hollywood Casino Columbus General Manager Ameet Patel told me and other reporters that training for food and beverage workers will begin in two weeks and continue through September. The casino on Columbus’ west side is scheduled to open Oct. 8.

Weston District Designated “Targeted Employment Area”

on Wednesday, 25 July 2012.

Designed to promote Investment

The Weston District through the efforts of the State of Ohio and Franklin County was recently designated a “Targeted Employment Area” for EB-5 Investment. This program is designed to promote investment and job creation in specific areas.

The EB-5 immigrant Investor Program

The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States .To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" (as opposed to $1,000,000.), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.

Casino to open early, on Columbus Day

on Thursday, 19 July 2012.

Oct. 8 kickoff is weeks sooner than expected; workers’ day off likely to boost first-day crowd

The $400 million Hollywood Casino Columbus will open on Oct. 8, which happens to be Columbus Day.

Officials of the casino and the Ohio Casino Control Commission say the sooner-than-expected opening on the holiday is a coincidence, but an appropriate one, and also comes during the year in which the city celebrates its 200th anniversary.

The date was approved at yesterday’s meeting of the casino commission, but it had been under discussion for several days. Commission executive director Matt Schuler and casino general manager Ameet Patel had spoken daily about an opening date

Future Hollywood Columbus Casino Livens Up West Side Businesses

on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. 

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The west side is improving infrastructure around the area for the Hollywood Casino Columbus expected to open this fall.Representatives from businesses that surround the new casino are excited for the addition and said that they believed that it will bring a much-needed enhancement to west Columbus. 

Dayna Sokol, president of TeeJay’s Country Place Restaurant, said that she can only see the positives about the new casino.“Only great things can happen over here,” Sokol said. “Just the excitement from all the businesses up and down West Broad, I think has brought a whole new revitalization to this side of town.”Sokol said that the company invested more than $500,000 into an expansion and added nearly 30 new employees.

Tee Jayes Invests in Weston District!

on Tuesday, 10 July 2012.

From Dayna Sokol, President - Tee Jaye's Country Place Restaurant

Tee Jaye's Country Place opened on the West Side in July 1983. We have seen the West side busy and active and then watched neighboring businesses pack up and move elsewhere.Tee Jaye's stayed and weathered the storm and never thought about leaving. We are now looking forward to being part of the Weston revitalization!.

We have invested over $600,000 in expanding and remodeling our restaurant. We felt this was a good time to change our look and update our image. We will be adding 30 new jobs to help in our growth along with all of our longtime employees.

If Penn hadn't invested in the West Side, we would not be leaving but surely wouldn't have done the expansion. We are looking forward to our West Broad location being #1 in the company!

We are proud of our heritage on the West side because we have wonderful customers that have been very loyal over the years. We hope to add to that and make it one big happy family. Our West Broad location has been one of the best over the years and will continue on especially with the new look.

We are so proud to be part of the revitalization of the West Side.


Casino school draws full house

on Tuesday, 26 June 2012.

Prospective workers jump at the chance to be one of 2,000 new hires when the casino opens in October

The perkiness level was off the charts at Hollywood Casino Columbus’ dealer school yesterday, as about 100 enthusiastic and smiling students practiced flipping their chips and spinning roulette balls.

Casino might have hotel as well

on Tuesday, 19 June 2012.

Penn National is moving ahead with plans to construct a hotel on the grounds of its $400 million Hollywood Casino by asking Columbus for the proper zoning for the building.

The hotel would be no taller than 375 feet — or 25 to 30 stories — and contained within the 200 block of Georgesville Road and W. Broad Street on the West Side.

The casino is to open in October, Penn spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said

Penn National taps local colleges to educate casino employees

on Friday, 15 June 2012.

Hondros College is partnering with the Hollywood Casino to handle elements of the dealer training program that will take place at the Haydocy car dealership near the casino on the city’s west side.

Hondros College is partnering with the Hollywood Casino to handle elements of the dealer training program that will take place at the Haydocy car dealership near the casino on the city’s west side.

As Central Ohio awaits the debut of its first casino, a new gambling initiative already is breaking new ground.

At the end of May, some 350 students started learning the finer points of poker, roulette, craps and blackjack at a former Haydocy Pontiac showroom on West Broad Street in Columbus. The school – a mini casino pit hidden behind gold curtains – is a collaboration between casino owner Penn National Gaming Inc.    Penn National Gaming Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Penn National plans 2014 opening for Youngstown track, VLT facilityOhio stakes honor on expanded gamingWeather, new competitor weigh on revenue for Kansas City-area casinos and Hondros College    Hondros College Latest from The Business Journals Social Madness surge puts entries at 110Casino to give applicants star treatmentRamped-up construction puts casino on pace for November opening.

Columbus casino on track for October

on Friday, 01 June 2012.

Hiring of about 2,000 workers under way

As Ameet Patel took in the opening of the Hollywood Casino Toledo yesterday, he couldn’t help looking ahead to the opening of the Columbus casino.

“The hardest thing to do now is temper my enthusiasm,” said Patel, general manager of the Hollywood Casino Columbus, which he said is on schedule to open in October.

An exact date has not been set, but the hiring of almost 2,000 employees has begun. The Columbus casino will be larger than its Toledo counterpart “and even more tremendous,” Patel said. Both casinos are owned by Penn National Gaming.

The West Side is already benefiting from the casino project, said Chris Haydocy, co-owner of Haydocy Buick GMC. He was one of the leading promoters of bringing the casino to the neighborhood, and his dealership has rented space to Penn National for training.

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