If you are one of those people who like to try their luck at the casino but do so with your tummy full, you came to the right place. The concept of a casino hotel trend emerged in Las Vegas after the city officials saw the enormous potential in having their customers happy and well-fed. However, this wasn’t done with a noble intention, but to discourage them from ever leaving the table. This means more money for the house, and we all know the first and foremost rule of every casino — the house always wins.
However, don’t let this stop you from having fun while playing poker or hanging around by the slots, because you never know when luck is going to strike. The house may always win, but all you need is one good hit, and this can potentially change your entire life. Alas, all these gambling activities can be so stressful that you need to eat some tasty dish. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass when you have to leave the premises in order to grab a bite and then come back to the casino.
We know your pain because we’ve been in your shoes many times before. Therefore, we have decided to present you with some casino restaurants in Detroit to save your time, effort, and gasoline. Without any further ado, let’s jump right to it.
Greektown Casino and Hotel
The city of Detroit has three casino hotels at the moment. Greektown Casino and Hotel is one of them, also representing one of four in the overall Detroit/Windsor area. The owners of this fine establishment’s property are Vici Properties, while Penn National Gaming operates it.
As we all know, Detroit represents one of the most significant American cities. Thus, it’s no wonder that it has three fantastic hotel casinos to offer. Greektown Casino and Hotel is located in the Greektown Historic District, so it’s pretty clear how it got the name.
Greektown’s tower is 344 ft high and has thirty floors. The casino and hotel opened in 2007, with 3,500 square feet of space, a new thirtieth story, and free parking at Monroe and St. Antoine. The casino is offering 100,000 square feet of gaming space, and after 2008, an additional 25,000 square feet opened up. Also, Greektown re-designed and expanded its VIP gaming space in 2009. It consists of a 400-room hotel, which is connected to the parking garage, as well as the brand new 30th story.
With this new space addition, Greektown opened a top-notch poker room. The leading architects and interior designers of this project were Steelman Partners.
The primary stakeholder is the Quicken Loans, owned by Dan Gilbert. The company decided to revitalize downtown Detroit, which is the main reason they bought these stocks in the first place. In May 2019, Penn National Gaming joined forces with Vici Properties to buy Greektown from its current owner — Jack Entertainment. The price on this transaction was $700 million for the real estate which Vici Properties paid, while Penn National had to pay $300 million for the business itself.
MGM Grand Detroit
This is our second hotel and casino in Detroit. This extravagant establishment opened two decades ago, on 29 July 1999. The opening ceremony was spectacular, as you would expect of such a gaming and hospitality giant. The superstars of that evening were Ashanti and Kid Rock, with plenty of fireworks which followed. The MGM Grand in Detroit was the first luxury hotel and casino resort outside Las Vegas.
However, this casino hotel was the subject of a potential sale in 2005. This occurred after the parent company, MGM Mirage, stated that they were going to acquire Mandalay Resort group, the owners of Motor City Casino, which happens to be the MGM Grand’s main rival.
However, this business transaction failed due to the state of Michigan’s gaming laws. Namely, the law does not allow one owner to have more than a single casino in the state. Thus, MGM Mirage was in the position to either sell Motor City Casino, or MGM Grand Detroit. After a long process of obtaining serious buyers for MGM Grand Detroit, MGM Mirage ultimately made the call to sell Motor City Casino. The new owner was Marian Ilitch.
Michigan Gaming Control gave the green light to MGM Grand’s plans for a permanent casino on 13 December 2005. This included 401 hotel rooms, an eight-story self-parking garage, and 100,000 square feet of gaming space, located on John C. Lodge Freeway and Bangley Street. This is just a couple of blocks away from the temporary casino.
As for the facility itself, it has 30,000 square feet of conference space, 1,200 of which is equipped with seating for live performances. The MGM Grand’s owners are also in the process of rebuilding the 3rd Street. The main object here is to make a two-way boulevard in order to facilitate the traffic in this area.
The permanent casino building finally opened in 2007, 3 October, to be precise. Again, the official opening ceremony was over-the-top, with Hollywood stars shining on the red carpet. The MGM Grand Detroit also premiered landscaped areas and a fantastic reflecting pool.
The designing team engaged in this project is amazing — SmithGroup, Hamilton Anderson Associates from Detroit, Lawrence Lee of California, Cleo Design of Las Vegas, Carol Harris, also of Detroit, Super Potato of Japan, and Toni Chi of New York. The principal architects were Thomas Sherry of Hamilton Anderson Associates and Paul Tonti of the SmithGroup.
Motor City Casino Hotel
And now we arrive at the last but not least casino hotel in Detroit, Michigan. This impressive $825 million complex consists of a historic building which once belonged to the makers of Wonder Bread — the Wagner Baking Company.
The all-in-all casino’s gaming space hosts a 100,000 square feet, with around 2,800 slot machines, two poker rooms, and sixty table games. Furthermore, Motor City Casino Hotel offers 67,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, a 13,000 square foot spa, a live music theatre with 2,400 people capacity, Sound Board, and a hotel bathing in luxury with 400 suites and guest rooms.
Even though the Mandalay Resort Group opened Motor City Casino, it was later sold to the Marian Ilitch of Detroit Entertainment, LLC (IH Gaming).
The building itself is located on Grand River Avenue at the Lodge Freeway. It was designed in 1915, by Walter W. Ahlschlager, an architect who also designed the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis in 1926. He also did the Roxy Theatre in New York, back in 1927. Motor City’s building underwent some renovations, and as a part of it, the decorative terra cotta elements which remained from the bread bakery era were restored to their original state. This contributed to the important signature features of this historic old building.
One of the crucial members of the design team was the custom car designer and popular television personality, Chip Foose. He was in charge of the property’s unique and memorable image. We have to say that Foose’s influence is strongly reflected in the roof’s re-design. He made the 304-foot-long stainless steel ribbon, nodding to the city’s automotive wealthy history.
As Foose himself stated, he was inspired by the door of the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The height of the roof varies from 3.5 feet to 10 feet, and it weighs a little over 180 tons.
Motor City’s Sound Board Venue
As for the performance venue, Sound Board has a 2,400 people capacity and stands for the city of Detroit’s only casino theatre. In fact, since its grand opening concert performance by Anita Baker, Detroit’s very own native, on 23 October 2008, many other celebrities were hosted here. BB King, Patti LaBelle, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Motorhead, Bill Cosby, Tony Bennet, Donna Summer, Eminem, Monica, Etta James, Diana Ross, Tamar Braxton, P. Diddy, and Gladys Knight.
The theatre is the host of many other important entertainment events, such as major product launches and live boxing matches.
Let’s focus on the casino next. Namely, the Motor City Casino Hotel offers a bonus system which actually focuses on customer interaction. This is done in real-time via flat screen installations seated above popular slots. By having this bonus system, the casino is able to track and award instant bonuses to their guests on their birthdays or notify the lucky winners on some delicious special promotions, and much more.
Now, a word or two about the casino’s interior. Thanks to Foose’s design, the casino is very memorable and unique. He has designed the ceiling with some big aluminium beams and thousands of LEDs which are multicoloured and capable of more than 256,000 colour videos. In this ‘future retro’ style, the result is something that resembles a giant custom-made car radiator.
The 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr and 1938 Buick Century were the primary sources of inspiration for the casino’s hot rod flame carpeting; the same goes for the smoke-free zone slot machines room. It depicts Detroit’s automotive heritage perfectly.
Motor City Casino Hotel opened in November 2007. It has 400 rooms and a variety of dining options. The restaurant is located on the sixteenth floor and serves modern American cuisine.
The thing that the vast majority of guests simply adore are women’s and men’s lounges, steam rooms, dry saunas, and thermal whirlpools stretch on over 13,000 square feet.
The spa section boasts ten private treatment rooms and a couple’s suite. The spa treatments you can ask for include massages, facials, and even a mud bar.
The spa also features an around-the-clock fitness centre that comes with top-notch weight lifting and cardio equipment.
The casino also comes with a buffet (aptly named the “Assembly line”) that offers various thematic events and dinners such as Barbecue Night, Italian Night, and many others. And if you are looking for comfort foods, you can go to the Lodge Diner.
And lastly, Motor City’s Sound Board Venue has a gift shop where you can buy clothes, jewellery, sundries, snacks, and of course, souvenirs.