Hollywood Casino hosts soft open

Toledo, OH (Toledo News Now) – A couple hundred lucky guests got a sneak peek inside the Hollywood Casino Toledo Thursday as part of a controlled opening. Invitations were sent out to people across the Toledo area, and beautiful is the word people are using to describe the casino.

Residents leaving the casino after the invite-only controlled opening are impressed.

"Beautiful, it was enchanting. Beautiful, plus I won $80 so that makes it better. It is beautiful. It's...and I won some money so that was great," said one person leaving the event.

"Yeah, I really like the Hollywood theme, and I was able to recognize like different movie stars like Frank Sinatra and just like...it was lovely," said another.

"It's amazing, great restaurant, people are friendly so it's very, very nice," another visitor said.

The casino was fully operating until midnight so that employees can work through any hurdles. The controlled open also helps state regulators evaluate if the casino is ready to open to the general public. But those invited inside, still had a great time, and look forward to having a casino in town.

"You know it's just kinds cool to have in Toledo, Ohio. Been to casinos all over the U.S. and it's neat to have one close to home," a visitor said.

The Hollywood Casino is set to officially open its doors on Tuesday May 29, and city authorities are expecting a lot of traffic.

Rossford city council met Thursday to vote on an ordinance that would allow overflow parking from the casino at the Pilkington North America parking lot. City officials say they want to be as prepared as possible for the amount of traffic it will bring.

The council approved the ordinance, noting that it will help keep the community safe.

The council hopes that with the parking lot available it will keep casino customers from parking on residential streets, or in local business parking lots.  Council members say they expect to use the parking lot for as long as they feel it's necessary.

"We're hoping that uh, obviously this will not be an on-going situation. We hope that maybe after the initial rush of the casino that things will level out," said Larry Oberdorf.

The plan was set in motion by the city of Rossford, not the casino.

The city and the casino have been working closely together on the matter and there will be shuttle services provided at the parking lot that will be traveling back and forth to the casino.

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