By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Now that the work is done, SugarHouse Casino believes its $164-million expansion over the last two years will entice a broader segment of visitors to the property on the Philadelphia waterfront.
SugarHouse opened in 2010 at the former Jack Frost Sugar Refinery, with 1,600-slot machines and 40-table games.
SugarHouse General Manager Wendy Hamilton says they’ve added 44 more table games, nearly 300 more slot machines, and a seven-story parking garage that provides access to a 28-table poker room.
“We relocated, enlarged, and upgraded our high limit room, and built a high limit lounge that could truly grace the cover of architectural digest, if they ever published a casino edition.”
But Hamilton says the focus of the expansion is centered on amenities, non-gambling attractions, including Philly flavored dining options.
“Tacconelli’s Pizza, Geno’s Steaks, Zaxby’s, along with our grab-and-go outlet, Revolution Grill.”
And there’s a high-end steakhouse, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House.
Hamilton says they’ve more than doubled their size, but the casino portion only grew by about 25 percent.
The new Event Center is a 30,000-square-foot room to throw weddings or business meetings, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge. It can be converted into a mini-concert hall, seating 700, where singer LeAnn Rimes and comedian Trevor Noah have already performed.
Hamilton says they’re not done yet.
“We’re going to take a breath, and let the market enjoy this. but I think you’ll see more activity in the future.’
Tawa: “So, when is the hotel going in?’
“Haha, you said it, not me.”
The expansion brings the total project cost up to nearly $560-million.