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Published: Monday, 2/10/2014 - Updated: 10 months ago

Weather cools down revenue at Toledo casino

Snow closures blamed for monthly low

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Hollywood Casino Toledo brought in about $11.5 million in January, the casino’s lowest month since it opened in 2012. Hollywood Casino Toledo brought in about $11.5 million in January, the casino’s lowest month since it opened in 2012.
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Hollywood Casino Toledo’s January revenue fell to a monthly low, during a 31-day span when snow forced the gambling spot to close its doors for more than 50 hours.

The casino brought in about $11.5 million in adjusted gross revenue in January, the lowest monthly tally since the casino’s first full month of operation in June, 2012, according to a report released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

By comparison, the casino posted revenues of about $14.3 million in January, 2013.

Snowy roads and Level 3 snow emergencies prompted the casino to close for 51.5 hours between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8 — the venue’s first closure since it opened May 29, 2012.

The casino again closed briefly last week because Lucas County declared another Level 3 snow emergency.

Casino spokesman John McNamara, who typically refuses to comment on revenues, attributed this month’s decline to severe winter.

“Weather definitely was an impact. It impacted every casino in the state,” he said.

Combined revenue for Ohio’s four casinos fell from $63.2 million in December to $59.7 million in January.

Horseshoe Casino Cleveland brought in $16.6 million in revenue in January, down from about $18.3 million in December. In January, 2013, it generated revenue of $20.7 million. The Cleveland casino closed for 37 hours between Jan. 6-7.

Hollywood Casino Columbus had January revenues of $15.3 million, down from $16.5 million in December and $18.3 million in January, 2013.

The only casino to gain was Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which posted revenue of $16.2 million in January compared to $14.2 million in December. It opened in March.

Weather “definitely is a big factor” in the sluggish January tallies, said Alan Silver, an assistant professor in Ohio University’s restaurant, hotel, and tourism program. Not only did bad roads and cold temperatures keep customers away, but soaring heat bills may have put a pinch in some people’s discretionary income.

“The weather has been horrible, and there is a correlation,” he said.

Some consumers also may have faced bills from the holiday gift-giving season.

Mr. Silver also cited competition from other gambling venues such as racinos and a slow-paced economic recovery for denting January revenue.

“As soon as the weather starts coming around, more people are going to start coming out,” he said.

Before last month’s low numbers, the Toledo casino’s weakest month since June, 2012, had been in November, 2012, when revenues tallied $13.6 million.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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