On December 11th, 2007, casino developer Don Barden from Detroit broke ground on the $450 million casino in Pittsburgh although the casino plan must still be given the stamp of approval by the city planning commission.
Barden said that the Majestic Star Casino will be the grandest of all of his five casinos in Las Vegas, Mississippi, Indiana and Colorado and more user friendly than online casinos. He added that the residents will be very proud on what they are planning to construct in Pittsburgh and that they intend to promote positive change in the area.
The casino facility, which is expected to open for business in April, will feature 3,000 slot machines, five eating establishments, bars and an amphitheater. Barden took advantage of the event to discuss the size and appearance of their parking area. The casino already changed the design to appease people that are against it.
The renovation must still be given the approval by the planning commission, which will convene in January and Barden said that he does not expect any problem. The 3,800 parking area, although bigger than the casino, would not be as visible as other people claim. The parking area will be placed behind the casino facility as seen from the riverfront casino and downtown area.
At 119 ft. tall, within the zoning limits and smaller than Heinz Field, where the Pittsburgh Steelers play their games. The Riverlife Task Force, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life in the city and the economic climate by improving the use of the city’s rivers, commented that Barden seemed to be trying to avoid the public review process.
Local government leaders complimented Don Barden and the casino facility’s design. Dan Onorato, an Allegheny County Executive commented that Barden has been really cooperative throughout the whole process.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl commented that the casino would give a lot of jobs and help the economy of Pittsburgh. The casino facility will be the 3rd casino in western Pennsylvania and the first stand alone casino. The other casinos in Erie and Washington are part of the horse racing tracks.