Proposed casino another dot on the streetcar route

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The Enquirer is reporting that a group led by Former Mayor Luken is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to allow a casino in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus. The Cincinnati location would be Broadway Commons.

Adding a casino to Broadway Commons would be a great addition to the urban core. With a casino on Broadway Commons and The Banks underway three downtown entertainment districts would emerge, The Banks, centered at Freedom Way (1st Street) and Main, Fountain Square at 6th and Walnut, and Broadway Commons at Central Parkway (11th St.) and Broadway.

These entertainment districts would be spread out across Downtown, but the proposed streetcar line would tie them all together. If someone staying in a hotel at The Banks wanted to visit the casino, it would be about a 1.8 mile round trip walk. (1.8 miles is about the distance from the Zoo to Xavier University). With a streetcar, they can pick up the train at The Banks and get dropped off two blocks away from the casino. The travel would be both directions, as people staying in the casino’s hotel would want to ride the streetcar down to the new Central Riverfront Park.

Adding a casino to Broadway Commons would provide another destination along the streetcar line, building the streetcar would connect the casino to the rest of Downtown and Uptown. Both will create a more exciting and dynamic Downtown and increase the tax base to fund services in all 52 neighborhoods.

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12 thoughts on “Proposed casino another dot on the streetcar route

    5chw4r7z said:
    March 12, 2009 at 11:59 am

    One problem with your theory. Casino’s are setup and designed to discourage people from leaving. They won’t be interested at all in their hotel customers leaving to tour the city when they should be inside losing their money.
    The casino + streetcar = not good.
    The casino will do absolutely nothing for Cincinnati, I could be wrong, how much development has sprung up around the Argosy? I looked at Google earth and it seems not much.

    Randy Simes said:
    March 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    The resulting development from a casino will be minimal as you point out, but what this does is add another item to the list of things to do when you visit Cincinnati. You many have conventioneers staying at the Hyatt downtown and take the streetcar to Broadway Commons for some after-hours fun. Maybe a group of young guys hits up the casino after a Bengals game to keep the fun times rolling.

    And I’m sure there will at least be some people who will venture beyond the walls of the casino. The locals who go probably not because they’re going for the sole purpose of the casino, but any out-of-towners probably would like to get out and see some other stuff while in town.

    Jason said:
    March 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I agree with Randy’s comments. Just imagine how nice it would be for a group of friends to head to downtown Cincinnati for a Red’s game early in the afternoon, then hop on the streetcar to find somewhere for dinner and drinks and even hit the casino after that. Then, if they’ve still not had enough fun, why not take the Streetcar up to the historic over the rhine main street business district to hit up the bars or clubs late night.

    All of the above things could be done with only having to park your car once. Or if you’re staying in a hotel or if you’re a resident of downtown you’d never need to step foot in a car.

    Its easy to see how much easier it would be to spend an entire day downtown jumping from activity to activity if you have a streetcar at your disposal instead of having to drive, walk, and pay for parking each and every step of the way.
    It would be a lot more like spending an evening out in New York, except a lot cheaper.

    John Schneider said:
    March 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Also, there have been very conscious decisions made throughout the whole course of the streetcar planning not to build it just for tourists and visitors, but rather for people to live their everyday lives around.

    Casinos are big employers, and there are probably a lot of people in Downtown, OTR and Uptown that could fill those jobs. A streetcar connection might mean less parking for employees would have to be built. That could mean more parking for visitors or less total cost.

    Now I’m even more convinced that the route to Uptown should travel through Broadway Commons rather than up Vine or Clifton.

    citykin said:
    March 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t know. I hate gambling because it encourages people to think money will make them happy, and gives them hope that they can get something for nothing.

    I am thinking about all the cities in this country that I would like Cincinnati to emulate, and I cannot think of any that have gambling as part of the city mix.

    I suppose if we have a casino, I would rather have it downtown than in Lebanon or Rising Sun, IN, but to me it is choosing the lesser of two evils.

    Randy Simes said:
    March 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I’m right there with you CityKin. I don’t like the idea of casinos for a number of reasons. In an ideal world I would prefer to see the site filled with mid-rise residential buildings with a few tech companies sprinkled throughout.

    Unfortunately I don’t see Cincinnati building up enough demand to fill up The Banks, Ovation, Manhattan Harbor, infill throughout Downtown and redevelopment of Over-the-Rhine. Downtown and OTR take precedent to me, and the other projects are already way ahead of any kind of development plan for Broadway Commons.

    This leaves us with a couple options, leave it as a surface lot, or do something big on the site like a casino, arena, streetcar/light rail hub, or something else. It’s a tough one, but the city could really use a more productive use on that large, centrally located site and a casino would fit that bill.

    Mark Stegman said:
    March 12, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Cincinnati has cultural elements and momentum that could make this area an internationally recognized city that contributes to the intellectual, artistic and business communities of the world. Building a large casino downtown is the antithesis of progress and enlightenment.

    When properly developed that area of downtown will add great value to our city, but a large casino there would suck more from our communities than it’s worth while there are many, many better ideas.

    Quimbob said:
    March 13, 2009 at 8:57 am

    “And I’m sure there will at least be some people who will venture beyond the walls of the casino.”
    The number one thing that’d do that would be strip clubs. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    Crazy Little Thing said:
    March 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I rarely disagree with this site, but I think a casino would be a terrible idea. They generate funds for local government at a huge social cost, and they are awful eyesores. Plus, as someone else mentioned, I don’t think they’d be that big an added draw to downtown. (I for one would be less likely to head downtown if there were a casino.)

    The good news is that casinos like to pop up where there’s either 1) nothing else around, or 2) where there are other casinos around. So I don’t think one would be likely downtown.

    Asselmelfshah said:
    April 10, 2009 at 5:50 am

    FANTASTIC!

    Joe Wojo said:
    November 6, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I see no value in adding a casino in downtown Cincinnati. First, Cincinnati has a hard time keeping the city safe. Adding a casino (which are proven with factual data to increase crime) would make matters worse. Does the city have funding to add additional police? Do we want another Detroit on our hands (increased crime with the increase in casino activity)? Especially with the proposed location since it’s off the downtown path. If anything, spend the money to get rid of that ridiculous bus transit next to fountain square and relocate it. That will make the city safer. Secondly, outsiders (tourists) aren’t going to come to the city to visit a casino. That’s ridiculous since there already 4 other casinos in driving distance. Any logical business person knows this. Thirdly, why don’t we focus on making the city better and focus on bringing the “good” back to the Over the Rhine area? If the city puts focus into that area, then we can turn that into a tourist attraction that people in other cities will want to visit. REBUILD it and people will come! The city will generate more revenue in the long run my focusing on an effort such as this versus building casinos. Bring back the GOOD and keep the BAD out!

    [...] The site for the proposed casino is the pipe-dream location that is Broadway Commons (GoogleMap). The site is located in the Pendleton sub-neighborhood of historic Over-the-Rhine. Its close proximity to Downtown, the convention center, several museums, gobs of hotel rooms and major tourism draws like the Reds and Bengals have long made the site a prime spot for redevelopment speculation (streetcar connectivity). [...]

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