When Dan Gilbert saved the Greektown casino in Detroit from bankruptcy a year ago, he promised improvements. Now he’s fulfilling that promise. The founder of Detroit-based Quicken Loans and the owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, Greektown is Gilbert’s first solo effort in the casino industry. His Rock Gaming is the majority owner of three Horseshoe casinos in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
Greektown had been struggling for many years under different owners, the first of which was Michigan’s Chippewa tribe. Gilbert’s company, Athens Acquisition LLC, is investing more than $50 million in the property, trying to give it a more modern look and a better guest experience. The hotel will be positioned as a “boutique” hotel with a neighborhood feel.
In addition, a new exit off I-375 will improve access to the property, along with a curbside cutout to improve valet parking times.
Assistant General Manager Brian Hall Eby says their trying to raise the property’s profile in Detroit.
“We want to be the cool boutique place people feel comfortable in … a neighborhood joint,” he said.
Eby says the property has just begun the renovations, but they are already feeling the impact. Greektown gains 2 percent market share in July and September, and second quarter gaming revenues were up almost 6 percent. He also cites a new players club, GT Rewards, for increasing visitation to the property.