Rivers Casino announced Tuesday the start of construction on its long anticipated Landing Hotel that will connect to the casino on the city’s North Shore.
The casino is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and officials lamented delays that pushed the hotel construction back.
Greg Carlin, CEO of Rivers and its parent company, Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, blamed the latest delay on concerns about how changes in Pennsylvania gambling law, which included online sports betting, would impact the business.
“It would have been nice to do it on the five-year anniversary, but we had lots of starts and stops along the way,” he said. “Everything’s lined up and we’re excited to be finally started on the project. This is going to be the nicest hotel on the North Shore.”
Elected officials and dignitaries joined casino representatives Tuesday morning for a ceremonial ground breaking outside the casino.
Rivers is planning a $60 million, four-star hotel on the east side of the casino next to the Carnegie Science Center. The seven-story building will feature 219 rooms, including 10 luxury terrace suites with private first-floor patios. It is expected to be complete by early 2021.
The project will be privately funded by Rush Street Gaming and Walton Street Capital and produce 128 permanent new hotel and casino jobs and about 1,400 construction jobs, according to Bill Keena, the casino’s general manager. Massaro Corp. is the general contractor.
Keena noted that Rivers recently opened Flipt, a burger restaurant, along with an events center and a temporary sports book on the casino’s main floor. River’s permanent sports book is scheduled to open by late September.
Celebrity chef Steve Martorano is planning to open Martorano’s Prime, an Italian steak house later this year, Keena said. It will replace Andrew’s Steak & Seafood restaurant, which is closing after Labor Day weekend.
Keena described the groundbreaking as “a symbolic example of mountains that we moved here lately with our team members.”
“One of the most things exciting things here about Rivers has always been our location,” he said. “We have breath-taking views of the river, Mt. Washington and the Point.”
Mayor Bill Peduto said the area was once occupied by steel mills.
“That was the economy back then,” the mayor said. “As we look at a changing economy, and a diverse economy of this city, we can see that potential along this shoreway.”