< The plan for a Downtown Columbus Casino was never presented as something planned for integration into the urban fabric of the city. The casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati were planned much better for that from what I've read. >
Back in late Sept, I spent five days at the Cleveland Rennaissance Hotel, which is a great hotel right on Public Square in Cleveland (check it out sometime0. My room overlooked the Square and the entrance to Horseshoe Casino, so I had an all-night view of the coming and goings. I also had some off-time to wander up Euclid, the 4th St restaurant district, and over into the Warehouse District, both during the day an at night. All-in-all I'd say that the casino does help by bring more people into the area at all hours, but probably doesn't generate a whole lot more additional business to the area. There were several very drunken people wandering around late at night. I wasn't sure they came from the Casino but they probably did. The casino itself was very nice and classy. They did a great job converting the old Higbee's Department store. It's a much different site and location than what was proposed for the Arena District (AD). Public Square isn't adjacect to a large gentrified residential Short North, it's much more a commercial office-high rise area, that empties after business hours. So the casino traffic and any rowdyness doesn't have as much of a negative impact on nearly as many people as a casino in the AD would have. I think an AD casino would have been at least a slight deterement to the Short North. There may have been other places around downtown they could have successfully sited it, but I'm glad it didn't go into the AD. That location is too close the Neil Ave and the Short North.