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emathias Sep 1, 2020 8:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedCorsair87 (Post 8950316)
If we are wish-listing, I vote for a 1600ft tower, but it needs to be in the heart of the Loop. Anything taller than Sears is going to look ridiculous that far south (McCormick). Thompson is the perfect spot for one aesthetically and for a casino.

My $.02

Sears looked ridiculous where it is when it was built. As long as zoning could accommodate other large towers nearby eventually, it could grow into it like the areas around Sears basically did.

TR Devlin Sep 2, 2020 2:27 PM

How big would a Chicago casino be?

The legislation enacted just over a year ago approved a Chicago casino with up to 4,000 gambling positions (slots or table seats). By comparison, Rivers in Rosemont, which I believe is currently the largest in Illinois, has 1,200 gambling positions. So the Chicago casino would be more than three times the size of Rivers.

Who would be the targeted customers?

Out-of-town people visiting Chicago; tourists, people here on business or for a convention, suburbanites spending a weekend in the city, etc. Most of these people are staying in downtown hotels and are not interested in going to Rivers in Rosemont or the Horseshoe in Whiting.

What’s the best location?

If you want to appeal to out-of-towners staying in a downtown hotel, the most important factors in deciding where to put a casino are

1. number of hotel rooms within a quarter mile, and
2. number of hotel rooms within a half mile.

And for a casino three times the size of Rivers, you probably need a full city block. Based on eyeballing Google maps, I’d say five floors of a full block in River North or eight floors in the Thompson Center would be about right for the gaming floors.

Problem with a very large casino near McCormick Place

Lots of people have said the casino should be near McCormick Place or even south of the Stevenson. It seems to me this creates a feast or famine situation. The casino does well when a large convention is in town but struggles in the rest (i.e., majority) of the year.

TR Devlin Sep 2, 2020 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8950341)
Medinah Temple needs a new use . . .

The Medinah Temple is a wonderful old building in a terrific location. Unfortunately, it's way too small to be used as the 4,000 position casino that Chicago's planning.

IMO, the best use would be to restore this as a theater.

CrazyCres Dec 4, 2020 1:21 AM

Downtown is where the action should be, casino developers tell Lightfoot

Four of the 11 responses received by the city came from major casino developers: Hard Rock, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Related Midwest in partnership with Rush Street Gaming, the company chaired by Chicago billionaire and Rivers Casino Des Plaines magnate Neil Bluhm.

Four responses came from real estate developers D3 Realty, Development Management Associates, JDL, and R2 Companies.

Link: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/12...hard-rock-wynn

ORD2010 Dec 4, 2020 1:30 AM

Honestly if we can get a tall building with some interesting unique architecture I would be very pro of a downtown casino, perhaps in the south loop to give the area a height/density boost and attract more hotels and commerce (motor row?). I like the potential of MGM, City Center and their Macau properties are all quite nice in design and execution. Wynn I'm afraid will give me their standard red tinted glass curved high rise like Vegas and Macau. The team with the Rivers owner I feel like we'd get a very generic build. I could be very wrong of course.

I don't know much about casino ops, but say a developer gets it, would they build it out and then lease it to probably one of the operators listed above? or would the developer try to run their own casino? in this case would an established major brand be the best bet for a properly run facility?

The only other downtown casino I've personally seen is the Jack in Cleveland and it wasn't the best.

Tom In Chicago Dec 4, 2020 4:18 PM

I've said this before, but the only location that makes any sense to me is the McCormick Place Lakeside facility. . . it has built in parking, access to rail and bus, close to Chinatown, nearby hotels, the Arie Crown Theater and is woefully underused. . .

You could use the momentum to get rid of that contentious FotParking lot to the north by grassing over and planting a 2,000' observation tower there. . . I know it's a long shot, but I'm just putting it out there to keep the (pipe)dream alive. . .

. . .

Mr Downtown Dec 4, 2020 5:02 PM

I think McCormick is too remote from the Mag Mile to attract the casual tourist.

Were it up to me, I'd open temporarily in the Medinah Temple building and over the next five years convert the Thompson Center to casino and hotel. Both are well-positioned and need new uses.

rlw777 Dec 4, 2020 5:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago (Post 9124875)
I've said this before, but the only location that makes any sense to me is the McCormick Place Lakeside facility. . . it has built in parking, access to rail and bus, close to Chinatown, nearby hotels, the Arie Crown Theater and is woefully underused. . .

You could use the momentum to get rid of that contentious FotParking lot to the north by grassing over and planting a 2,000' observation tower there. . . I know it's a long shot, but I'm just putting it out there to keep the (pipe)dream alive. . .

. . .

That would be perfect actually.

Considering the design of literally every modern casino built in the US I would prefer no casino anywhere downtown unless it's reusing something.

sentinel Dec 4, 2020 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9124919)
I think McCormick is too remote from the Mag Mile to attract the casual tourist.

Were it up to me, I'd open temporarily in the Medinah Temple building and over the next five years convert the Thompson Center to casino and hotel. Both are well-positioned and need new uses.

I've been to a casino once (Horseshoe in Indiana just over the border), I can tell you pretty confidently that casino-goers are primarily not casual tourists. I firmly believe the vast majority would be high-money gamblers who can afford to lose a lot of money in one sitting, or gambling addicts who don't mind sitting for 6 hours straight in a windowless room - the Venn diagram between those two groups (gamblers and casual tourists) would show almost no intersection.
I think McCormick is more ideal because of what Tom said, plus the number of large hotels currently there (and any more in the immediate vicinity that may be planned for the future) would be better positioned to incentivize nearby gamblers, if any deal could be reached between McPier and those hotels. Far different crowds than people who would be staying at the Langham, St. Regis, or hell, even the Hilton Garden Inn downtown.

west-town-brad Dec 4, 2020 5:16 PM

I think the corporate/convention traveler is the true audience here. Really just convention traveler. Las Vegas is the biggest convention destination in the US.

Put the building wherever you can drain the pockets of the above as easily and as much as possible.

the 78, the lakefront McCormick place, or motor row area in the south loop.

anyone else that wants to gamble will seek it out, regardless of location.

Tom In Chicago Dec 4, 2020 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9124919)
I think McCormick is too remote from the Mag Mile to attract the casual tourist.

Were it up to me, I'd open temporarily in the Medinah Temple building and over the next five years convert the Thompson Center to casino and hotel. Both are well-positioned and need new uses.

Casino goers aren't "casual tourists", they're "destination tourists". . . and, incidentally, a desperate bunch that leave lots of sadness and cigarette butts in their wake. . .

. . .

rlw777 Dec 4, 2020 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago (Post 9124940)
Casino goers aren't "casual tourists", they're "destination tourists". . . and, incidentally, a desperate bunch that leave lots of sadness and cigarette butts in their wake. . .

. . .

Also Casinos pretty much always run shuttle services so the mag mile tourists will have no problem getting there.

Tom In Chicago Dec 4, 2020 5:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlw777 (Post 9124950)
Also Casinos pretty much always run shuttle services so the mag mile tourists will have no problem getting there.

Right. . . there's a grade seperated bus-way between Millennium Park and McCormick Place today that they can use like they do for Bears games. . . and you could simply run shuttles every ten minutes to Chinatown, twenty four hours a day, every day of the year. . .

. . .

bhawk66 Dec 4, 2020 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 9124937)
I've been to a casino once (Horseshoe in Indiana just over the border), I can tell you pretty confidently that casino-goers are primarily not casual tourists.

Chicago and Elizabeth, IN are two wholly different places in regards to tourism. Most definitely a Chicago casino would be likely half filled with tourists (specially those that like to casually gamble). Chicago is #5 top city in the US for tourism. I would be pretty sure that's why the respondents said the location should be downtown (or near downtown).

Wiki: As of 2018, New York City is the most visited destination in the United States, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Chicago. Tourists spend more money in the United States than any other country, while attracting the third-highest number of tourists after France and Spain.

The lakefront was another noticeable recommendation, which I can understand, but would seem to be a "pretty please" request.

Randomguy34 Dec 4, 2020 5:52 PM

Don't forget that the size preference mentioned for a casino site was 10-25 acres. For areas around downtown, the new megadevelopments seem primed to host it. I recall last year the Tribune River District site was interested in hosting the casino: https://chicago.curbed.com/2019/8/8/...strict-tribune

rlw777 Dec 4, 2020 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9124977)
Don't forget that the size preference mentioned for a casino site was 10-25 acres. For areas around downtown, the new megadevelopments seem primed to host it. I recall last year the Tribune River District site was interested in hosting the casino: https://chicago.curbed.com/2019/8/8/...strict-tribune

For context 10 acres is about the size of the USPS building south of the old main post office.

SamInTheLoop Dec 4, 2020 6:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bhawk66 (Post 9124973)
Chicago and Elizabeth, IN are two wholly different places in regards to tourism. Most definitely a Chicago casino would be likely half filled with tourists (specially those that like to casually gamble). Chicago is #5 top city in the US for tourism. I would be pretty sure that's why the respondents said the location should be downtown (or near downtown).



Precisely this. Obviously a certain segment of the customer base for a downtown casino will overlap with your Indiana/suburban/out-in-the-boonies casinos. However, on the whole, it will be a quite different market (not the destination/day-tripping/chain-smoking caricature) etc

chicubs111 Dec 4, 2020 6:33 PM

River north would seem like a good spot for casino as well...its close enough to core downtown and mag mile and still in a touristy feel area... only issue is finding a large enough cohesive plot for something substantial... I like the Thompson center site as well... I feel like they can incorporate some type of theatre/live venue element to this casino to add to the Chicago theatre district theme... Either way this development needs to be large and architecturally significant which gives me hesitation because when Chicago is given a blank slate to do something special and large it tends to under perform time and time again unfortunately.. ala block 37, wolf point, spire site .

Tom In Chicago Dec 4, 2020 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop (Post 9124992)
Precisely this. Obviously a certain segment of the customer base for a downtown casino will overlap with your Indiana/suburban/out-in-the-boonies casinos. However, on the whole, it will be a quite different market (not the destination/day-tripping/chain-smoking caricature) etc

I've never been to a city that had a downtown casino and thought, "Oh let's pop in here for a bit!" To me any city that has a casino - flashy or otherwise - in or very near to the CBD has an air of desperation around it. . . like, oh boy, this used to be a place once!

A downtown casino in Chicago is best left to where the convention traffic is greatest as well as close proximity to Chinatown - where the bulk of local casino traffic will come from anyways. . . the logical choice is the McCormick Place Lakeside facility. . .

. . .

Tom In Chicago Dec 4, 2020 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicubs111 (Post 9125018)
River north would seem like a good spot for casino as well...its close enough to core downtown and mag mile and still in a touristy feel area... only issue is finding a large enough cohesive plot for something substantial... I like the Thompson center site as well... I feel like they can incorporate some type of theatre/live venue element to this casino to add to the Chicago theatre district theme... Either way this development needs to be large and architecturally significant which gives me hesitation because when Chicago is given a blank slate to do something special and large it tends to under perform time and time again unfortunately.. ala block 37, wolf point, spire site .

I wouldn't be opposed to a casino in River North /or/ the Thompson Center if it could be incorporated into a larger entertainment complex which had wholly thought out programming where the casino can function as part of a greater whole. . . the only problem with both of those locations is by adding just a massive casino, you're creating a civic space that is not cohesive to the rest of the "neighborhood" and doesn't necessarily play nice with the surrounding businesses. . . unfortunately it appears as though they're looking for a place to plop down a massive casino-as-money-making-machine rather than what I would have in mind. . .

Therefore. . . McCormick Place Lakeside it is. . .

. . .


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