Calder Casino Grand Opening in Time for Super Bowl

Miami Gardens mayor, Shirley Gibson, and state senator, Frederica Wilson, helped Calder GM, Tom O'Donnell, cut the ribbon at today's Calder Grand Opening Ceremony.

Calder started construction on their new 1,200 slot, 104,000 square foot casino seven months ago with the goal of opening in time for the NFL Super Bowl.

Critics and naysayers told them they had no shot and laughed at their ambitions. After all, at the time, no casino in the state had ever passed inspection on the first try, and they would have to pass on their first try in order to avoid delays, and open on time.

Well, inspections took place on January 21st, and today, one week later, one week before the Super Bowl and just two days before the NFL Pro Bowl, the Calder staff walked around at their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony with their heads held high and buttons on their lapels that read, “Yes We Did!”

To understand the significance of the seven month construction accomplishment one needs to only have seen the rubble of the parking lot seven months ago. It is no longer rubble. It has been transformed to include smoothly paved roads that lead to one of the more finely designed gaming establishments in Florida.

At the main entrance to Calder’s new casino is a large overpass where an abundance of valet attendants wait to park cars for arriving guests. It was also where today’s ribbon cutting ceremony took place.

In the audience were over 250 guests – one of whom was the original contractor that worked on Calder when they first opened their doors as a thoroughbred race course in 1971.

Calder GM, Tom O’Donnell, who hosted the ceremony, claimed the staff at Calder to be “the friendliest staff in South Florida.” He said their team paid special attention to making “friendliness” a job requirement for those looking to work at the new casino.

Miami Gardens mayor, Shirley Gibson, announced she was pleased with the fact that Calder was expanding, saying the new casino would, “…add flavor to the city, as well as adding to the local economy.”

O’Donnell pointed out that over 400 jobs were created as a result of the expansion.

State senator, Frederica Wilson, wearing a festive green hat, helped cut the ribbon, and after the ceremony all guests were treated to Martinelli and cake. One cake was designed as a Calder slot machine, but that cake remained uncut, boo-hoo.

After the ceremony guests were welcomed into the casino, many for the first time.

Inside the Casino
Walking into the new Calder Casino is like entering a ball. A regal aisle leads from the main entrance, straight to an expansive and hip-looking bar – which is back-dropped against a live band slightly elevated from the floor – which is back-dropped by a gigantic projection screen, where later in the day a laser light show will be displayed.

Players enjoy one of the four new electronic blackjack games featured at the new Calder Casino.

Immediately upon entering, to the left and right of the aisle, are the new electronic blackjack machines, Royal Match 21, and they were crowded throughout the day.

Betty, an avid blackjack player from Miami Lakes, was thrilled to have a new option where she could play blackjack. “I like that I could play six dollars or seven dollars a hand,” Betty said. “You have to start at $5, but you can increase your bet by $1 after that. That’s a big plus.”

The rest of the casino is packed in an organized and easy to navigate manner with sets of slot machines like Star Trek, Monopoly, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Reel ‘em In, Top Gun, Deal or No Deal, and others, in groups for players to enjoy.

For those looking for a quick bite there is the Front Runners Food Court, which can be found to the left of the band and projection screen. The Tropical Gardens Buffet already was crowded, and the Twinspires Tavern is home to a more upscale dining experience.

A VIP slots room with about about 100 machines, where players can wager anywhere from $5 and up per spin, can be found slightly hidden away from the crowds along the back right wall.

Calder also is home to the new 29-table Studz Poker Room that sits conveniently on the first floor of the Grandstand at the west entrance.

The Grand Opening Weekend features a Tropical Carnivale Celebration and the staff is hoping that the thousands of tourists visiting the state for the NFL Pro Bowl and next week’s Super Bowl will trek a few blocks from the stadium to join in the fun.

Carnivale style dancers on stilts will be entertaining guests all weekend long. Junkanoo and Samba Parades are planned. Live bands and other live entertainment, laser light shows, and giveaways will add to the excitement.

Getting There
Calder can be found at the Miami-Dade / Broward county line, just north of Sun Life Stadium. The entrance can be found right off 27th avenue (University), which will take you directly to the facility. Taking the 27th ave. exit off the Turnpike will lead you right there.

Calder Schedules
Stay tuned to the Casino Pulse Promotions page for updated schedules of all of Calder’s promotions, as well as the Casino Pulse Entertainment and Events page which will feature a schedule of all of Calder’s live events. These pages will be updated regularly to include all the latest information.

Poker players can head over to the Casino Pulse Poker Tournament Schedules page where they can find all of Calder’s poker tournaments. There a player can set an email, popup or SMS alert to be reminded about any poker tournament in Florida.

For more information on Calder, their events, promotions, and poker tournaments, visit their website at Calder Casino & Race Course.

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