At a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting earlier today, officials from Cordish presented further plans and projections for their Live! Hotel and Casino in South Philadelphia.
Live! is being billed as a “world-class integrated casino and hospitality destination”, as well as the largest initial development of a casino in the state of Pennsylvania. It will join Valley Forge Casino Resort as the second resort casino in the Philly area. It will also prove to be stiff competition to SugarHouse Sportsbook, which will soon become Rivers Sportsbook, and Parx Sportsbook, which has a location at the Turf Club, as the closest physical sportsbook to the stadiums.
As laid out in a previous hearing, the casino will have 125 table games, 2,000 slot machines, and a sportsbook which will double as a sports bar.
But officials stressed that they want Live! to be not just a gaming experience, but also an entertainment experience. That point especially was the real the crux of the presentation today. For instance, they laid out their plans for a “center bar” that will face out towards the gaming floor and another “R-Bar” in the back of the casino that will also face the gaming floor. Both will feature big-screen TVs in an effort to draw in the non-gaming, sports-viewing crowd.
Plus, in addition to their “fine dining” restaurant, there will be a karaoke restaurant that will serve Asian-centric cuisine, drawing on inspiration from a similar restaurant from the Maryland Live! location called Luk Fu.
They will also add a marketplace-type venue that will house five different food offerings and a bar. Officials at the hearing today view this particular area as a potentially premier spot for sports fans to enjoy pre-game and post-game festivities– something Xinfity Live! was supposed to be but has become just an all-out bar atmosphere before and after events.
Featuring more than 200 rooms, the hotel portion of the casino is being treated as more of a high-end, luxury resort. There will be over-sized rooms, good-sized bathrooms, as well as a relatively expansive fitness center.
In addition, a multi-purpose room that can host a variety of events and business meetings will be accessible to hotel patrons.
The casino as a whole is projected to generate around $2 billion in economic stimulus as well as $100 million in estimated tax revenues for the city in its first five years. In upwards of $25 million of that will go towards the Philadelphia School District, officials say.
In addition, the casino will help to create over 5,000 new jobs. Its minimum wage will be no less than $12.00 per hour for both permanent jobs and contractors, 65.5% higher than the region’s minimum wage. Apprenticeships and training programs will also be offered.
December 2020 is the targeted opening, and officials at the hearing said they have no reason to believe that date will be pushed back. They say that construction is actually somewhat ahead of schedule and there have been no significant issues.