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Maryland Live! Breaks Ground On New Hotel

September 13, 2016
Maryland Live! Casino executives, local politicians and other dignitaries laid the ceremonial bricks and planted the first shovels in the ground Sept. 13 for a 17-story hotel that is certain to change the already substantial presence of the highly successful gambling hall in Hanover, Md.

The runaway top revenue earner among Maryland's five casinos and a heavyweight in the Mid-Atlantic gaming market, Maryland Live! is expected to open the 310-room hotel and events center in the first quarter of 2018. The casino, hotel and events center will all be connected and will help create a critical mass of attractions with Arundel Mills Mall next door. 

The new additions to Maryland Live! have been known and discussed for some time; county approvals were granted about a year ago. At the ground-breaking, David Cordish, chairman of the Cordish Companies and the casino's owner, said planning for the hotel has been going on for four years.

"We saw an opportunity to create something that hasn't been done before and that's build world-class accommodations ... at the same time, [provide] high-energy entertainment," Cordish said. "You walk into the lobby and there's music, there are bars, there are restaurants, a spa -- there's a feeling of energy. Put the two together and you have a Live! Hotel. This will be our first Live! Hotel but hardly our last. We're going to roll it out nationally and internationally."

The Live! brand is on much of what Cordish's companies have built, such as entertainment districts in the Baltimore area and nationally and, obviously, on the casino, which routinely generates monthly revenue in the mid-$50 million range.

The hotel, with a price tag of $200 million, will be the tallest building in Anne Arundel County. It is described in company literature as "a mix of modern style and chic, urban flare." And the top floor will have its own private gaming area, casino officials said.

The events center will include a 1,500-seat concert venue with a performance stage and banquet seating that will accommodate 800 guests.

State and county officials at the ground breaking specifically identified high school and community college graduations as events that will benefit from the new Grand Event Center.

State Sen. James DeGrange, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, said, for the most part, schools in the county have had to seek outdoor graduation sites in neighboring counties and "roll the dice" on the weather. The new events center is expected to be home to many of those gatherings in the future.

Amenities that will be part of the events center are a 24-hour café with community seating and a gelato bar. Also being added to the casino-hotel-events center complex are 1,000 new parking spaces.

The hotel and events center will help Maryland Live! compete with a new casino-hotel in Prince Georges County, being built by MGM Grand International at the National Harbor shopping and dining complex. The MGM casino-hotel is also expected to have about 300 rooms and is scheduled to open late this year.

With a hotel at Maryland Live!, the Anne Arundel County casino will have an important complimentary offering for its best customers.

"We're also doing it to reward and compliment our loyal customers. We have over a million Rewards card holders," Cordish said. "These people earn points, and we give them rewards, whether it's restaurants, sporting events in Baltimore and Washington, cruises. But now we'll be able to give them a room at this hotel."

Cordish pointed out his company has already build luxury hotels, such as the five-star Charleston Place in Charleston, S.C., and two Hard Rock hotels in Florida that are connected with casinos at Hollywood and Tampa.

"Building quality hotels is not new to us," Cordish said.

Economically, the new construction will contribute 550 construction jobs, and once the hotel and events center are operating, approximately 500 jobs will be added to the complex's workforce that already includes more than 3,000 casino jobs.

For more from Bill Ordine, watch the interview below:

For more from David Cordish, watch the interview below:

For more from Maryland Live! GM Robert Norton, watch the interview below: