Hooray for Hollywood

Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Missouri

When it opened in February 2012, the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway became the first Las Vegas-style gaming hall in the Sunflower State. And while it offers all the amenities of a first-class Vegas resort—from a 95,000-square-foot gaming floor to top-flight restaurants and bars—in style, in attitude and in name itself, the Hollywood is more reminiscent of another great American destination: Tinseltown.

The $400 million investment, a joint venture of Penn National Gaming and International Speedway Corp. for the Kansas Lottery, is located on 100 acres in Kansas City and overlooks the second turn of the popular Kansas Speedway, home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Despite the clear influence of the Motor Age, inside the casino looks and feels like Hollywood, from its gilded Art Deco-style porte cochere to interior architecture featuring bold geometric shapes, lavish ornamentation, regal columns and dramatic lighting. Visual references to Hollywood’s Golden Age recur throughout the property from subtle cues in the ceiling treatments to a more emphatic statement in a scrolled design element above the casino floor, which resembles an unfurled filmstrip. The look is developed with more Art Deco details and video displays that intersperse promotional content with classic film clips.

The Hollywood theme continues in the food and beverage outlets with the aptly named Marquee Café, Epic Buffet, Final Cut Steakhouse, and Hollywood and Grind Coffee and Pastry Shop.

The colorful casino has 2,000 slot machines and more than 50 table games. The project, which was delivered under budget and six weeks ahead of schedule, also includes a 1,250-car parking garage, and is master-planned for expansion. A hotel with convention space could be added, along with an entertainment district featuring additional restaurants and bars.

ARCHITECT: Yaeger Architecture Inc. with Marnell Architecture
INTERIOR DESIGN: Genesis Associates, Inc.
CONTRACTOR: Turner Construction Company
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $400 million

Articles by Author: Marjorie Preston

Marjorie Preston is a contributing editor of Global Gaming Business magazine and managing editor of Casino Connection Atlantic City.