|MotorCity Casino Hotel|
|Address||2901 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201
|Opening date||December 14, 1999|
|Number of rooms||400|
|Total gaming space||100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)|
|Permanent shows||Sound Board
2,400+ seat theater
(Detroit Entertainment, LLC)
MotorCity Casino Hotel is a casino and hotel in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of three casino hotels in the city, and one of four in the Detroit–Windsor area. The $825 million complex incorporates a historic building that once housed the Wagner Baking Company, makers of Wonder Bread. The complex houses a 100,000 square-foot casino with approximately 3,000 slot machines, 59 table games, and two poker rooms; a 13,000-square-foot spa; 67,000 square feet of meeting and convention space; Sound Board, a live music theater with a capacity of 2,400 people; and a luxury hotel with 400 guest rooms and suites.
Opened by Mandalay Resort Group, MotorCity Casino Hotel was purchased by Marian Ilitch of IH Gaming (Detroit Entertainment, LLC).
Detroit is one of the largest American cities and metropolitan regions to offer casino resort hotels.
The building, located on Grand River Avenue at the Lodge Freeway (M-10), was designed c.1915 by architect Walter W. Ahlschlager, who later designed the Peabody Hotel in Memphis in 1926 and New York City’s Roxy Theatre in 1927, among other notable structures. As part of the property’s renovation, the decorative terra cotta elements of the former bread bakery were restored to their original condition, preserving the signature features of the historic building.
Custom car designer and television personality Chip Foose was a member of the design team and was instrumental in the property’s unique look. Foose’s influence is reflected strongly in the sweeping roof design, a 304-foot-long stainless steel undulating ribbon, a nod to Detroit’s automotive history. Foose says it was inspired by the door molding on a classic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The roof ranges in height from 3.5 feet to 10 feet and weighs over 181 tons.
The casino features over 100,000 square feet of gaming space that includes approximately 3,000 slot machines (160 of them located in smoke-free gaming areas); approximately 59 table games; and two poker rooms.
The interior of the casino is notable for its design, thanks to a Chip Foose-designed ceiling with large extruded aluminum-like beams and thousands of multi-color LEDs capable of displaying video with more than 256,000 colors. In a style referred to as “Future Retro,” the end result is reminiscent of a giant custom car radiator. Detroit’s automotive heritage is also reflected throughout the casino with hot rod flame carpeting, and the smoke-free slot room entrances are designed to resemble the front-end grilles of a 1938 Buick Century and a 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr. A nod to Detroit’s musical roots, the pillars of the Amnesia event space are designed to resemble bass clefs, and the five-bar musical staff is found on everything from slot machine bases to signage throughout the property. Zebrawood, a rich wood often used in guitar construction, is incorporated into the hotel lobby and guestrooms.
MotorCity Casino Hotel features a bonusing system that focuses on real-time customer interaction through custom flat-screen installations mounted above slot machines. Through the system, the casino is able to award instant bonuses to players on their birthday, notify winners of special promotions, and more.
With a capacity of 2,400, Sound Board is a performance venue, and Detroit’s only casino theater.
Since opening with a concert by Detroit native Anita Baker on October 23, 2008, Sound Board has hosted acts like Robin Williams, BB King, Jay Leno, Motörhead, Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, Eminem, Etta James, P. Diddy, and Diana Ross. The theater also hosts events such as live boxing and major product launches.
Advanced sound, lighting, and video equipment includes a d&b Line Array Sound System with Digidesign D-SHOW consoles, an HES Road Hog Full Boar lighting console, more than 50 moving lights and DL-3 lighting fixtures.
Opened in November 2007, MotorCity Casino Hotel has 400 rooms and suites. The hotel has attained AAA Four Diamond status for many years.
MotorCity offers a variety of dining options.
Located on the 16th floor, Iridescence is a restaurant serving Modern American cuisine.
The casino buffet, the Assembly Line, offers nightly dinner themes such as French Night, German Night, Hawaiian Night, Soul Food Night, taste of "The D" Night, and the Monday Night Seafood Buffet.
The Grand River Deli features sandwiches, salads, and soups.
The Pit Stop is a casual eatery serving hamburgers, pulled pork, ribs, and brisket.
Detroit-based pizza chain Little Caesars has an outlet in the building.
Spa and exercise
Over 13,000 square feet, D.Tour offers men’s and women’s lounges, thermal whirlpools, steam rooms, and dry saunas. There are 10 private treatment rooms and a two-room couple’s suite. Spa treatments include facials, massages, and the MotorCity Mud Bar.
The spa is accompanied by a 24-hour fitness center outfitted with Precor cardio and weight equipment.
Events and conventions
MotorCity has 67,000 square feet of conference and banquet space, including seven meeting rooms and two boardrooms, each fully equipped with audio/visual, wireless internet, and teleconferencing capabilities.
Casino details designed to resemble a classic 1950s tailfin-style car
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- Wikimedia graph of Detroit's casino revenues
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