The Grand Villa Casino is finally open for the public. Claimed as one of the prominent entertainment hubs in Edmonton, the new facility is likely to attract hordes of visitors who attend concerts and games at Rogers Place. Besides, thousands of visitors from outside the town and from the nearby Ice District will also be able to enjoy the new casino.
The $32 Million entertainment facility spans 60000 square feet, which boasts 600 slot machines, 28 tables and seven restaurants. On Wednesday, hundreds of people lined up from the 104 Avenue entrance to the 102nd Street. These visitors not only wanted a glimpse of the lavish casino, but also aspired to taste some of the high-end restaurants such as Atlas Steak & Fish, and Match Eatery and Public House. In fact, some of these restaurants, such as Atlas also features a private dining room for the visiting NHL teams.
The first impression from some of the visitors revealed surprise and amazement at the design of the Grand Villa Casino. One of the visitors, Mary Tima, described the Villa as immaculate. Talking to CBC, she revealed that she had seen nothing like it. The impression is what Tony Santo, the CEO of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, wanted to hear because Tony was not satisfied with the nearby Baccarat Casino, which was much smaller than its recent replacement, Grand Villa Casino. Also, it was not surprising to hear Tony describe how he hated the Baccarat Casino, which was not worthy of the great brand that he runs. He insisted that the company always wanted a more lavish and stylish casino that could offer much more than the entertainment.
Despite the soft opening, it is clear that there is some work to be done. For instance, Tony explained that the company needs to make a few adjustments including moving furniture and other important items from the adjacent Baccarat Casino to the new casino. He also acknowledged that his company is not responsible for the future of Baccarat Casino. Actually, there will be several interested parties who will build something on the spot by demolishing the existing Baccarat Casino building, Tony revealed. In addition, 200 employees from the old casino will move to their new workplace. Already, the management is conducting interviews for 200 additional workforce to join the existing workforce. Even other stakeholders in the Ice District, such as the executive VP of Katz Group, which owns Rogers Place, expressed their excitement for the new development. Katz said that he new that Ice District will be a catalyst for great developments, and the district is proving its worth.