The Republican National Convention took place in Ohio last week, just steps from the Jack Cleveland Casino. With security barriers in place and roads closed during the event, the casino suffered from low customer numbers, as visitors were unable to easily access the gaming venue. Jack Cleveland was able to reopen on Saturday after the convention was completed but definitely took a hit while the convention was in town.
Mark Tricano, the Senior Vice President of Operations for the gaming venue, spoke to Cleveland.com on Friday in a phone interview and stated that the event made it challenging for the business to operate as the majority of their visitors are locals who would have avoided downtown during the week based on safety or traffic concerns.
The casino took a hit for several reasons concerning the Republican National Convention. First of all, there were several security as well as road restrictions put in place due to the convention which made it difficult for drivers to reach the Public Square. The parking garage for the casino located on Ontario Street is limited to 200 parking spaces for guests.
Protests also took place outside the casino at the front door which would be off-putting to guests. Individuals located in the vicinity of the casino were security teams, vendors, journalists and protestors. Even workers from the downtown area who use the casino as a place to visit during their lunch hour avoided the area.
According to Tricano, other businesses in the area also saw slower numbers in regards to visitors due to the lack of downtown workers. The casino bar business was also slow, despite being able to serve alcohol until four in the morning. While business was slow, Tricano did applaud the Republican National convention as the positive national attention the city received will be good for business in the future.
The actual amount lost by the casino will not be known until August when the revenue numbers for July are released.