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Ohio


Casino skywalk opens today in downtown Cleveland
Company says the walkway is needed to shield visitors from the elements; opponents argue it will kill street-level retail
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
The skywalk to the Horseshoe Casino was mired in controversy until Rock Gaming bought the Higbee Building in April
Courtesy of Rock Ohio Caesers
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In The Region:
After more than a year of legal wrangling and construction, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland today opens a skywalk from its parking garage. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.
Casino skywalk opens today in downtown Cleveland

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The intersection of Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland now has an enclosed walkway running diagonally overhead, sheltering casino-goers from the elements below.

Although construction of the $7 million skywalk took just over two months, the legal battle to get to this point took years.

The casino is in the Higbee building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Casino owner Rock Ohio Caesars had wanted to add the walkway and keep historic tax credits, but the government said no because the skywalk would alter the building’s historic character. So Rock Gaming bought the Higbee building in April for $79 million.

Opponents of the skywalk said it would kill street-level retail. Plain Dealer architecture critic Steve Litt likened the plan to poking the Mona Lisa in the nose with a straw.

Rock Ohio still has street-level entrances open, as well as an entrance from Tower City, just off Public Square.
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