Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh is hoping to break ground on a connected hotel that would open some time next year.

The Rivers Casino hotel, at a glance

Rivers released some of its plans this week for a hotel that would come at a pricetag of $51.5 million. With land already purchased from the city, the casino appeared in front of the Pittsburgh Planning Commission to outline what it has in store with the hotel.

“The possibility of a hotel was first included in the casino’s 2006 Master Development Plan, and we’re excited to begin this next stage in our evolution,” said Craig Clark, general manager of Rivers Casino, in a press release.  “The new Rivers Casino Hotel fulfills the promise of a true destination casino.”

According to a Rivers presser, it “hopes to break ground in late spring of 2017 and anticipates opening in 2018,” pending approvals from the city.

More on the hotel expansion from Trib Live:

Pittsburgh City Council in December cleared the way for Rivers to proceed with the hotel by vacating property known as a paper street next to the casino. Rivers will pay the city $217,000 for the property, according to council’s legislation.

It seems clear the casino and the city have gotten past a bit of a tiff over the PA casino host tax that Rivers had challenged.

Details of the Rivers Casino hotel

Here’s a closer look at what we know about the casino so far:

  • It will feature seven stories and 221 guest rooms, many of which will have riverfront views.
  • The hotel will be built on vacant land between the casino and the Carnegie Science Center, connecting to the gaming facility on its east end.
  • Amenities will include a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant and a lobby bar.
  • The entire cost of the hotel is privately funded.

Here is some of the data Rivers provided on the impact once the hotel is built:

  • More than 1,500 jobs: 1,400 for construction and 128 permanent hotel jobs.
  • The state will see more than $10 million in tax revenue as a result of the addition of the hotel.

Hotel will help the casino

Last year was not a great one for Rivers on the casino front. Revenue from slot machines was down about $12 million year over year in 2016. Table game revenue was down about $2 million.

The addition of the hotel will almost certainly help the casino see an uptick in gaming win.

A good model to look at would be SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, which quickly completed an opened an expansion in 2016. Even with a hotel in operation only for half a year, SugarHouse experienced a noticeable increase in gaming revenue.

Image credit: Strada