Tsogo Sun’s Gold Reef City in Ormonde, Johannesburg, South Africa has nearly completed the casino portion of a R640 million refurbishment and expansion to the facility that first opened in 1997. Casino improvements include additional slot machines, new carpets and decor, and a Salon Privé with its own lounge, entrances, cashier facility, VIP desk and baccarat room.

Also included in the R300 million first phase were improvements designed to transform the entertainment facility into a more family friendly operation with something for everybody. A Magic Company franchise opened along with a 12 lane bowling alley and two new restaurants, more of which including a food court and several more upscale eateries are expected to open before the end of the year.

A six cinema movie-plex has been built with more than 1,000 seats spread over the Movies@Gold Reef City attraction. Four of the theaters are 3D capable.

According to Tsogo Sun CEO Marcel von Aulock, as reported in Engineering News, “The original genesis of this is that we needed to make the casino bigger and we wanted to change the nature of the casino to be far more family orientated, to be a more integrated entertainment complex, which is very much in line with what the Tsogo group has done at places such as Montecasino and the SunCoast casino.

“The challenge is that we have to keep it within the Gold Reef City theme; we didn’t want to introduce anything that moved away from the historical mining town look and feel,” he told the Creamer Media outlet.

Further developments expected in the second phase of the project include changing the Gold Reef City theme park into a venue without entry fees where visitors pay for rides rather than access to the amenity. New rides will be installed and the mining museum has been moved up from the 5th to 2nd level to save it from rising waters. The theme park’s Apartheid Museum, one of the most visited venues in the country, will see some R30 million in improvements to make it a “permanent Nelson Mandela-exhibition.”