Temporary Casino Might Find Home at Higbees Building

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Higbees, now dealing in nutcrackers of a different variety.
  • Higbees, now dealing in nutcrackers of a different variety.

Back when Higbees was Higbees, the windows facing the streets were littered with displays of toys and wonderment during Christmas. At least that's what A Christmas Story taught me, and since it's a movie, it's true. Children would press their faces to the glass to take in the greenworld through the foggy glass, dreaming of toyland riches.

Now that the official Cleveland casino opening has been pushed back to 2013, at the earliest, Dan Gilbert and company are considering plans to open a temporary location at the old Higbees building. So replace the youngsters from Higbees' glory days with bums, and the scene doesn't change all that much. Now adults will stare longingly at a greenworld of blackjack and slots and heretofore undiscovered riches. Or debt. One or the other.

Details from the Plain Dealer story after the jump.

"Rock Ventures is in the later stages of due diligence of the downtown Cleveland Casino which includes finalizing a long-term agreement with a gaming operator as well as the ongoing evaluation of a "phase one" gaming operation within the Higbee building," Gilbert said through his spokeswoman.

"Although neither of these major decisions have been finalized, we are making significant progress on both of these fronts," he said

The tenants occupying the first two floors of the building on Public Square are looking for new offices because they've been told that a "phase one" casino may move in.

Nothing is set yet, but Positively Cleveland's president said he has been told informally to start the search for new quarters for his 34 employees, with the chance they might need to be out by late October.

Let us go on record as saying that the sooner we can gamble, the better. The fact that it might be in the Higbees building is just a bonus.

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