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$49-million Shorelines Casino Peterborough officially opens

Tracy Hanes
$49-million Shorelines Casino Peterborough officially opens
TRACY HANES — The new $49-million Shorelines Casino Peterborough opened in mid-October with 500 slot machines, 22 table games, a 230-seat buffet restaurant and a 40-seat a la carte restaurant.

Slot machines are ringing and roulette wheels spinning at the new Shorelines Casino Peterborough.

The $49-million facility at Peterborough, Ont.’s southern gateway opened in mid-October with 500 slot machines, 22 table games, a 230-seat buffet restaurant and a 40-seat a la carte restaurant.

Matheson Constructors provided project management for the 50,000-square-foot casino, built and operated by B.C.-based Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

Matheson also handled construction management for the 47,000-square-foot Shorelines Casino Belleville that opened in January 2017 with 400 slot machines and 22 game tables.

Despite bad weather and strong opposition from city residents, construction on Shorelines Casino Peterborough started Sept. 13, 2017 and its doors opened 13 months later.

The casino, designed by Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc., has an entrance framed by two opposing curved roofs supported on dual steel columns.

It is expected to contribute to the city’s local economic development and provide entertainment and employment to local residents and visitors.

The full-service casino is open 24 hours a day with some of the latest slot machines, live dealer table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat, a Racebook and a live entertainment area. The Windward Restaurant and Lounge serves up casual fare and The Buffet has daily themed buffets.

Bryan Buchanan, general manager at the Peterborough casino, says the recent opening day was exciting for the 300 team members — 180 who are new — who were eager to showcase the new facility.

The adjacent Peterborough Visitors’ Centre was demolished in May to create casino parking. Roshan Holdings owned the land and allowed the city to use the building rent-free for a decade. The Visitors’ Centre is now in downtown Peterborough in the VentureNorth building on George Street.

Adjacent to Shorelines Casino Peterborough, Roshan Holdings is building a 100-room Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton that is under construction and expected to open in May 2019.

It will include an indoor saltwater pool, fitness centre, meeting facilities and business centre, according to Roshan’s director of development Jordan Struk.

The developers have owned the land since 2005 and were drawn to the area because they owned cottages nearby, said Struk. Roshan also owns a Home2 Suites by Hilton, a 100-room hotel in Milton that opened in 2016.

The new Peterborough hotel will address a shortage of accommodation facilities in the city, which are in short supply during major events, and accommodate visitors who want to enjoy the games, restaurants and entertainment at the new casino, Struk added.

The Great Canadian Gaming Corp. planned to remove the games at the nearby Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs race track once the Peterborough casino opened.

However, after objections from the Service Employees International Union Local 2, representing Shorelines’ food and beverage workers at Kawartha, plans changed.

On Oct. 12, 2018, the Government of Ontario announced it would support the horse racing industry and some slot machines will remain at Kawartha Downs and Ajax Downs.

The same day the Peterborough casino opened, workers at Kawartha Downs found they were locked out of their workplace.

However, according to an Ontario Lottery and Gaming statement, the Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs were to relaunch by the end of October after renovations to allow the operation to continue with 150 of its previous 500 slot machines.

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