The new 310-room hotel atop the Live Casino in Hanover held its grand opening Wednesday evening, a milestone in the development that also marks the opening of a spa, gym and event space that officials say finally makes the six-year-old complex complete.
An array of performances, including the daredevil dance troupe Bandaloop and a celebrity blackjack tournament, marked the official launch of the $200 million hotel.
The hotel already has been taking bookings for weeks, and Robert J. Norton, Live's president and general manager, said people have been coming from across the country — some specifically to gamble and others passing through town and drawn to the new hotel.
Norton said the 1,400-seat event space has booked multiple acts, including comedians Ken Jeong, Dennis Miller and Dane Cook and ’90s acts Salt-N-Pepa and Vanilla Ice. The space will expand to 4,000 seats soon, he said.
The additional rooms already appear to be helping boost revenue for the project, though all six Maryland casinos posted year-over-year increases totaling 14.1 percent, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Live Casino & Hotel reported almost $48.2 million in revenue in June, up 15.1 percent from a year ago.
MGM National Harbor, to the south in Prince George’s County, totaled $59.3 million in June, up 18.3 percent from last year. Horseshoe Casino to the north in Baltimore City had about $22.8 million in revenue, up 2.2 percent from 2017.
“The vast majority of our increase came from out of the market, so it shouldn’t be driving away business from other casinos,” Norton said. “Hopefully this shows Maryland is a very good market and that our new amenities will help us grow at a pace that out-clips the market but that everyone is doing well.”