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Rivers Casino Philadelphia Plans Boutique Luxury Hotel in Fishtown

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Rivers Casino Philadelphia has announced that it will open a 62-suite boutique luxury hotel inside The Battery, the mixed-use lifestyle campus underway on Beach Street in Fishtown.

The new casino hotel will be called “Riversuites,” and it promises a high-end experience. The upscale hotel will occupy four dedicated floors of The Battery’s existing adaptive reuse complex, creating a rarity for Philly — a waterfront hotel. The casino could be accepting reservations as early as this fall.

Guest suites are cavernous by hotel standards, averaging 854 square feet each, with even larger options up to 2266 square feet. One-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations are available. Every suite includes a full kitchen. Several apartment-style suites feature patios or bi-level lofts, with sleeping rooms upstairs and living room and kitchen below.

Unobstructed views of the Delaware River extend well beyond the Pennsylvania and New Jersey shorelines past the Ben Franklin Bridge. On the street side, running parallel to the river, hotel guests will enjoy one of Philly’s hottest neighborhoods — Fishtown.

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With Fishtown’s walkable streets and burgeoning cultural and culinary offerings, Riversuites guests will be just steps away from a growing inventory of trendy restaurants, coffee shops, craft brewhouses, distilleries, retail stores, galleries, and other recreation.

“A hotel addition for Rivers Casino Philadelphia has always been part of the master plan for our Fishtown property. The location and grandeur of The Battery allowed us to join a neighboring parcel, already in progress, with historic Philly significance,” said Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rivers Casino and Rush Street Gaming.

In addition to proximity to Fishtown, panoramic views and affiliation with the casino itself, Riversuites will boast several other traditional and unconventional amenities: co-working areas, lobby gathering spaces, a billiards table — and an indoor basketball court.

The Battery is an architectural stunner designed in Beaux-Arts classical revival style by famed turn-of-the-century Philly architect John Windrim. Windrim’s prolific portfolio also includes The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Municipal Court and the provost’s residence at Penn.

Formerly the Delaware Power Station, the 11-acre Beach Street complex was commissioned as a PECO power plant in the early 1900s. By the 1950s, it was the utility company’s largest, providing power to nearly half of Philadelphia. Eight 167-foot-tall chimneys will remain as historic architectural elements.

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Today, The Battery is a $154 million redevelopment initiative currently underway by its Philadelphia-based owner, Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds. The active phase includes 173 apartments, 135,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of event space — and now a hotel.

“We saw in the old PECO power plant an opportunity to create a spectacular experience on Philadelphia’s waterfront that could be a home for both a residential community as well as an eclectic mix of commercial enterprises that will draw people to an area of the city that has until now been underused. It is very exciting to see our vision for this project come to fruition, with our first residents moving in and Rivers Casino announcing its plans for a beautiful new hotel overlooking the river, and we are thrilled to welcome them to The Battery,” said Leonard Klehr, vice chairman of Lubert-Adler.

The casino’s 22-acre waterfront property already connects with The Battery via the Delaware Riverwalk by way of picturesque Penn Treaty Park. The two properties are an eight-minute walk or a five-minute ride apart. Rivers will run a complimentary 24/7 shuttle with 24/7 security and will offer 24/7 valet parking.

Riversuites will be operated by Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which is owned and operated by Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates. Koo Architecture of Chicago is designing the Riversuites hotel. Strada of Philadelphia is the architect for The Battery.

“VIPs and out-of-town guests have long inquired about overnight stays at Rivers Casino Philadelphia, and they’re about to get a penthouse-style option. We’re thrilled to introduce this entirely unexpected luxury suites collection — that’s exclusive to Rivers Philly,” said Eric Althaus, general manager of the casino.

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The Riversuites hotel project represents a $7 million privately funded investment. The new hotel will add more than 40 permanent hospitality jobs to the casino’s existing 1100-plus workforce. Riversuites at The Battery is expected to open by year-end 2023.

Industry News

Navajo Gaming Appoints John James as Chief Executive Officer

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Navajo Gaming has appointed John James as its Chief Executive Officer.

John James brings more than two decades of professional gaming and hospitality experience to Navajo Gaming. He previously served as CEO of River Rock Entertainment Authority in Geyserville California. There he exemplified his strong leadership skills by identifying and implementing innovative operational improvements to grow revenue while improving morale through thoughtful strategic direction and mentoring.

Prior to that, he led numerous tribal casinos including serving as CEO of Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Washington, CEO of Soboba Casino Resort in California, COO of Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in California, and CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises in Arizona. Additionally, he has served in leadership positions for Seminole Gaming Inc., Pechanga Resort and Casino, and various successful Station Casino properties.

As CEO of Navajo Gaming, John James will oversee and manage Navajo Gaming properties in New Mexico and Arizona, as well as ensure that Navajo Gaming policies and objectives are met. His three main objectives are to strengthen Navajo Gaming and the hospitality economy, return revenue to the Navajo Nation, and provide additional jobs to members of the Navajo Nation.

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“Navajo Gaming has grown to a multi-million-dollar enterprise over the past 15 years. John James brings extensive gaming and management experience and leadership qualities to lead Navajo Gaming. James has been widely recognized as the industry’s ‘best of the best’ for his exceptional strategic and positive impact. He will stimulate continued growth and success for Navajo Gaming as we remain focused on job creation and enhancing the Navajo economy,” Quincy Natay, Chairman of the Navajo Gaming Board of Directors, said.

“I am honored to serve Navajo Gaming’s team and guests under the stewardship of the board and alongside such a strong management team. Our industry is transforming rapidly and there is tremendous opportunity for Navajo Gaming to capitalize on opportunities, elevate guest experiences and solidify our reputation as exceptional destinations where memories are made,” John James said.

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Industry News

Ocean Casino Resort to Open Olympics-themed Medal Bar

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Ocean Casino Resort announced the opening of Medal Bar: The Summer Games Pop Up Experience, located at 1927 Lounge on the casino floor across from The Gallery. Medal Bar’s opening ceremony will take place on Friday, June 28 hosted by Gold Medal Winning Gymnast, and member of Team USA’s Magnificent Seven, Dominique Dawes.

“We are so excited to embrace this celebratory global event as only Ocean can. From specialty themed cocktails and décor to iconic athletes and gaming activations; Medal Bar will be a must-see destination for our guests this summer,” Kelly Burke, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Ocean Casino Resort, said.

Located at 1927 Lounge, Medal Bar will offer an international flair with Americana spirit and a nod to the host country (Paris). Social moments and nostalgia will abound throughout the venue where guests can go for the gold in a myriad of ways including sipping worldly drinks and flights, playing games, cheering on their favorite athlete, and more. The festivities kick off on Friday, June 28 with an appearance by Olympic Gold Medal Winning Gymnast Dominique Dawes and will extend through Labor Day Weekend. Normal operating hours will be Thursday and Friday, 5 pm to 12 am, Saturday, 3 pm to 1 am and Sunday, 5 pm to 12 am. Medal Bar will be open daily from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, August 11 showcasing all of the thrilling events and competitions.

Guests can also celebrate the start of summer with the 3rd annual North Beach Fireworks Spectacular on Friday, June 28 at 9:30 pm. The demonstration, in partnership with Fireworks by Grucci, will showcase a dazzling ocean-front fireworks display presented by North Beach Atlantic City with several viewing locations including The Park and the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. The event will be open to the public.

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National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP) to Begin Free Self-Exclusion Assistance in Four US Jurisdictions

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idPair Inc., an award-winning provider of safer gambling technology, announced the upcoming launch of free self-exclusion assistance in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee this August, as part of the first phase of the National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (NVSEP). Where states require a notarized form, a free remote online notary will be provided through the NVSEP platform to remove any cost for individuals. Importantly, there will be no changes to the respective state programs or how operators receive and process the self-exclusion information as part of this initiative.

Depending on the state, self-exclusion options will be available for casinos, online sports betting, online casino, online poker, fantasy sports, and/or horseracing. Each jurisdiction has its own unique gambling landscape, and individuals seeking to self-exclude are encouraged to visit www.NVSEP.com/jurisdictions to learn more, including which products and properties have a supported option.

Jonathan Aiwazian, CEO of idPair, said: “For the first time ever, individuals seeking a wider level of protection can self-exclude from multiple states in a streamlined fashion. While today we announce our ability to provide free assistance with self-exclusion in each of these 4 states, more jurisdictions are on the way, as we accelerate toward our goal of removing barriers for people seeking protection across all gambling jurisdictions and products.”

With future phases of NVSEP planning a deeper level of integration and potential to directly connect with the Player Account Management (PAM) systems of gambling operators, gambling regulators can one day ensure that voluntary self-exclusions are instantaneously processed, providing immediate protection for those who opt-in to the program, a major leap in efficiency to the current processing times in some existing programs.

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NVSEP’s announcement of assisting consumers with Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee self-exclusions is the first step in a broader effort to expand responsible gambling measures nationwide.

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