CLEVELAND, Ohio -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The former Higbee Department Store building, which now houses the newly opened Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, holds many memories for Northeast Ohioans: the smell of the fragrance department, the taste of a chocolate malt or the excitement of entering the Twigbee Shop to purchase gifts for family and friends. This holiday season, Horseshoe Cleveland will take guests back to a time when the holidays weren't complete without a visit to Higbee's in Downtown Cleveland.
"This history of Higbee's is very sentimental to many people and is the reason we are doing something truly special this holiday season," said Marcus Glover, the casino's senior vice president and general manager. "'Holidays at the Higbee,' one of the largest holiday promotions in Caesars Entertainment's history, will invoke memories of years past and create new traditions to celebrate for years to come."
In addition to being a landmark for locals, the Higbee Building was also featured in the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. The store's starring role occurs early in the film when Ralphie first sets eyes on the Red Ryder BB Gun in Higbee's holiday window display.
Everything Old Is New Again
When guests step into the Higbee Building this holiday season, they will be wowed by a transformation of the casino into a holiday wonderland. Akron, Ohio-based Room 2 Room Commercial & Interior Designs outfitted the casino's interior and exterior with custom decorations inspired by the holiday decor of Higbee's throughout the years.
A talented production team of 30 Northeast Ohio designers and craftsman worked around the clock to bring 'Holidays at the Higbee" to life, committing more than 3,200 hours to design, assemble and retrofit hundreds of decor elements. The project includes more than 25,000 lights and 2,000 ornaments and features many pieces that are custom built for Horseshoe Cleveland.
"The objective we were given was to create a 'Wow!' moment for guests," said Cynthia Klein, lead designer and owner of Room 2 Room. "Our intent is to invoke memories of the old Higbee's store and to provide a unique and creative experience for the guests of Horseshoe Cleveland. Our goal is to make both Horseshoe and the city of Cleveland proud."
Each level of the casino features a unique theme. The Main Gaming Floor Level invokes memories of Higbee holidays of the past. Level Two features an icy scene at the Vintage 51 bar and luxurious displays in the High Limit Room. Level Three showcases a rustic holiday, keeping in the spirit of Horseshoe's Founder, Jack Binion. The Lower Level Buffet area showcases the holidays with a Cleveland-specific flair.
Project highlights include:
Exterior decorations atop both vestibules pay homage to the former department store and the new life of the building as Horseshoe Cleveland. An original 24-foot Higbee tree was discovered in storage and refurbished by Room 2 Room to serve as a centerpiece of the display on Cleveland's Public Square. The frame and the electrical harness of the tree were repaired and 9,000 new lights were installed.*
Window displays have once again come alive with holiday scenes. A dramatic scene in the display case on Public Square pays homage to the display cases Higbee's was famous for with an "Old Man Winter" theme. The hand-crafted display includes an original mural and a sculpture that produces snow throughout the day. Displays inspired by the New York City windows of Saks Fifth Avenue also adorn the windows facing Ontario Street.*
Inside, the main gaming floor of Horseshoe Cleveland has been tented by eight custom-built, garland-covered archways inspired by original Higbee holiday decor.
A custom-built holiday tree greets guests as they reach the landing outside the Poker Room. The tree features branches decorated in lights and crystals and spans 23 feet across the ceiling.
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