Eldorado Resorts, owner of Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com), announced April 27 that it will develop 223 acres around the racino as “a new world-class, mixed-use entertainment and hospitality destination” that will include a hotel and bring “new upscale retail, dining and entertainment to South Florida.”
Jen Swope, Isle’s director of marketing operations, tells me she doesn’t have information outside the announcement but believes the casino and harness racing will operate as usual during construction.
The development could represent a massive addition to South Florida’s casino scene, so I’ll stay on top of this.
Eldorado is developing the property in a 50-50 joint venture partnership with the Cordish Companies, whose portfolio includes the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com), which opened in 2004. The Hard Rock, including garages and open spaces, totals 87 acres, according to the casino’s spokesman.
A NEW NAME FOR MARDI GRAS
Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, TheBigEasyCasino.com) is now called the Big Easy Casino after its sale to Jeffrey Soffer, whose real-estate portfolio includes the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach.
Mardi Gras closed in September after being damaged by Hurricane Irma. The poker room and greyhound racing restarted a couple of months later, but the slot floor is still closed.
I visited the property on April 21. The poker room was packed with well over 100 players, and a few dozen bettors were watching the dog races. The slot floor was blocked off. I asked employees, including a security guard, a cashier and a bartender, when it would reopen. They mumbled that it would probably be in a month or so. Two rolled their eyes.
When I called on Tuesday, May 1, the telephone operator said, “It might be in two or three weeks.”
According to a post on the casino’s Facebook page, the Big Easy Casino hosted a three-day job fair in April. Open positions included slot-floor attendants and casino-cage cashiers.
A FIFTH OF MAY
Mint juleps and margaritas will collide on Saturday, May 5, when many South Florida racinos will host Kentucky Derby watch parties and/or Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Hialeah Park Racing and Casino (100 E. 32nd St., 305-885-8000, HialeahPark.com) is combining the two. Doors for the Champions Simulcast and Sports Bar will open at 9:30 a.m. The derby — post time is 6:34 p.m. — will be shown on TVs throughout the casino, poker room and Fountain Terrace, as will other competitions throughout the day. The derby’s signature drink, mint juleps, will go for $5.
Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials, including $2 Coronas and $5 margaritas, will be served all day at all bars and lounges. After the derby, Fountain Terrace will feature a mariachi band and a DJ.
Calder Casino (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderCasino.com) is not hosting derby parties but will offer Cinco de Mayo drink specials, including $3 Corona Light drafts and $5 Jose Cuervo shots.
Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, GulfstreamPark.com) will host Musica en el Parque in the Champions Plaza. Guests can shake their maracas to a salsa, disco and merengue band from 8 to 11 p.m. And specialty drinks will be offered at several restaurants, including $6 sunshine margaritas at Cantina Laredo.
Saturday’s partying at Palm Beach Kennel Club (1111 N. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-683-2222, PBKennelClub.com) will include simulcasting of the derby, a hat contest, mint juleps for $5 ($7 with derby glass) and a trackside barbecue during the dog races. Broadcasting live in the poker room from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. will be 106.9 FM True Oldies.
ODDS AND ENDS
Julio Iglesias Jr. will play a free concert Saturday, May 12, at Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami, 305-649-3000, MagicCityCasino.com). It begins at 8 p.m., and you must be at least 21 to attend. One of the songs he’ll perform is “Te Extraño.”
Flat Chat Cuppa, at 6.5-1 odds, won the $20,000 Bob Balfe Puppy Stakes by four lengths on Saturday, April 28, at Palm Beach Kennel Club, earning her owner $10,000. She sprinted around the 545-yard course in 29.43 seconds.