Hurricane Irma was brutal, but the odds of us getting hit were good.
I reached out to executives with local casinos to get a sense of the damage at their properties.
Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MGFLA.com) might have suffered the most.
Marketing director Ashley Foster wrote in a text message, “The casino suffered major damage and is closed indefinitely.” She gave no further details, except to say the property’s e-mail and phone systems are down.
I contacted two other Mardi Gras executives. One said he couldn’t share further details. The other didn’t respond by presstime.
Calder Casino (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderCasino.com) fared a little better.
“Calder Casino remains temporarily closed as the city of Miami Gardens and our surrounding communities continue to work to clear the roads and repair traffic signals,” director of marketing Matt Harper says. “Thankfully, no team members were injured during the storm, and Calder sustained no major structural damage.”
Sandra Rodriguez is spokeswoman for both the Casino at Dania Beach (301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., 954-920-1511, CasinoDaniaBeach.com) and Magic City Casino (450 NW 37th Ave., Miami, 305-649-3000, MagicCityCasino.com). According to her: “We were fortunate that we experienced only intermittent power losses and landscaping damage at both facilities.”
They’re operating regular hours with no activities being affected, she says.
Isle Casino Pompano Park (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) reopened 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“[We] experienced minimal property damage, including downed trees, damage to external signs and some internal water damage. All things considered, the property withstood the storm miraculously,” says Jen Swope, director of marketing operations.
“All regularly scheduled activities are operational. We have postponed a gift-giveaway promotion and a poker tournament; however, both of those events will be rescheduled.”
“We had some trees down, fence damage,” says Corin Angel, marketing manager at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, GulfstreamPark.com). “No serious damage.”
She adds that the casino, restaurants, stores, entertainment venues and simulcast center opened Wednesday, Sept. 13. Live horseracing and other events will resume on Saturday.
“We are very fortunate not to have sustained any damage from Hurricane Irma,” says Teresa Shum, public relations manager at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com). “As of right now, the casino floor, Player’s Club and the Poker Room are open.”
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St. 954-977-6700, CasinoCoco.com) is fully operational, too, meaning it is open 24/7.
Palm Beach Kennel Club (1111 N. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-683-2222, PBKennelClub.com) suffered no structural damage or injuries, assistant publicity director Sarah Mears says. Only some downed plants.
“Palm Beach Kennel Club is now open daily for poker at 10 a.m. and simulcast action begins at 11:30 a.m.,” Mears says. “For the welfare of the greyhounds, live racing at PBKC will resume Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. Closing time will vary day to day in recognition of Palm Beach County curfew.”
If you still don’t have electricity at home, visit a casino, where you can at least get air conditioning and a solid meal. Maybe even have some fun and win something.
A shout-out goes to Magic City Casino, Gulfstream Park and Isle Casino for providing parking lots as staging areas for FPL’s emergency crews. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek’s garage served as a shelter for first responders’ vehicles, and other local casinos have pitched in during this tough recovery.