Casino Miami may be one of the oldest gambling facilities in Florida, but it’s in the middle of a massive renovation that owners say will instantly bring it “into 2016”. The property is getting a $20 million facelift that starts at the entrance way and spans far into the intramural spaces of popular Miami casino, adding several new bars and more electronic table games to attract the younger crowd of gamblers.
Originally established more than 8 decades ago as Miami Jai-Alai Fronton, it’s understandable that the property could use a little updating. The last time owners really renovated the 6,500 square foot gaming space was about 5 years ago, when legislation was passed allowing them to install slot machines – hence the rebranding to ‘Casino Miami‘.
Anyone who’s visited the Miami casino recently surely noticed the signage and construction fencing surrounding much of the property. According to CEO Dave Jonas, the unsightly partitions will disappear within a few months as the renovations near completion.
“We’re bringing it into 2016, making it something that we can be proud of,” said an enthusiastic Jonas. “When we’re done the whole sense of arrival should look like what you’d expect at a Las Vegas casino.”
Rendering of new entrance, courtesy Casino Miami
The building’s façade is the initial focus of construction (pictured in artistic rendering above), and Jonas said the first phase should be completed before June is out. He noted that the entire $20 million project is slated for completion by the end of 2016.
When owners first started discussing plans to renovate Casino Miami, they had originally budgeted $15 million for the project. Half of that was allocated for exterior embellishments and structural work, while the other half would be vested towards interior upgrades. As they investigated the condition of the property in preparation for the overhaul, they decided another $5 million should be spent to fix up the roof and update the restrooms.
3 New Bars at Casino Miami
As for the interior additions, the Miami casino is receiving three new bars, including a whiskey bar cleverly named ‘Whiskies‘, and another called ‘MIA‘ (short for Miami International Airport). The third bar being built at Casino Miami will be sports bar. Jonas said they haven’t decided on a name yet, but he promised the new sports bar will feature “very big” large-screen televisions.
The property’s existing bar, Club Rio, which opened just last year, is getting a minor facelift and electronic table games to bring in more millennials; something Jonas described as a vital piece to the marketing puzzle for today’s gambling industry.
He said all of the renovations were designed to be wholly purposeful, without spending more than necessary. “We’re trying to add spaces that create reasons for people to show up,” he said.
All things considered, $20 million is a relatively low budget for a casino that wants to mimic the appearance of a Las Vegas resort (minus the square-footage, of course). But based on the comments of Casino Miami’s CEO, and the multiple additions to nightlife and sports entertainment, they are well on their way to achieving their goals without going over budget.