Des Plaines casino to open July 18

 
 
Updated 6/20/2011 4:08 PM
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  • Rivers Casino Vice President of Slots Albert Geldres shows off the interior of the casino earlier this month as workers rush to get ready for the July opening. The building is seeking LEED certification for its environmentally friendly design.

      Rivers Casino Vice President of Slots Albert Geldres shows off the interior of the casino earlier this month as workers rush to get ready for the July opening. The building is seeking LEED certification for its environmentally friendly design. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines plans to open to the public Monday, July 18, once the Illinois Gaming Board gives final approval early next month, casino officials said Monday.

The 147,000-square-foot Rivers Casino, 3000 S. Des Plaines River Road, is situated on roughly 20 acres at the northwest corner of River Road and Devon Avenue, off the Tri-State Tollway. It includes 2,300 self-parking spaces and valet parking.

The casino also will offer shuttle service from O'Hare International and Midway airports, McCormick Place and select hotels throughout downtown Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

The 44,000-square-foot gambling floor will initially house about 1,050 gambling positions and the casino will offer a variety of dining options, including Hugo's Frog Bar and Chop House, MianBar Asian noodle shop, FLIPT casual grill, a buffet, cafe and pastry shop, and a cocktail lounge.

Rivers Casino also is the first casino in the nation to apply for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification for its green design, materials and practices, officials said.

"We are excited to open the doors to the Rivers Casino. It is a showplace attraction for the entire region," Neil Bluhm, chairman of casino developer Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, said in a news release. "We have considered every detail with our customers in mind."

The gambling floor includes 48 table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, pai gow poker, and baccarat, with the highest table limits in the state.

The casino features a plush VIP area with an intimate gambling salon and an exclusive lounge, and a multilevel outdoor patio that will serve as a sports bar, a live performance venue and a nightclub.

"Rivers will raise the bar for gaming and entertainment in the Midwest," Greg Carlin, Rivers Casino CEO, said in a news release. "We have created a unique and exciting experience that will appeal to enthusiastic gamers, entertainment seekers, tourists and conventioneers."

One hundred people picked through a lottery drawing will get exclusive access to the casino ahead of its opening to the public at a grand opening event on Sunday, July 17. Winners will be given the red-carpet treatment with food, entertainment, and celebrity guests, a casino publicity spokeswoman said.

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts band will be among the entertainers during the event.

Visitors to the casino must be at least 21 years old. The lottery is not open to any participant of the Illinois Gaming Board Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program. Guests will be able to gamble live during the event. For details about the lottery, visit playrivers.com.

Customers who join the casino's loyalty program -- the Rush Rewards Players Club -- will receive invitations to promotions, special events, discounts, and priority lines. Guests can sign up in advance at playrivers.com

Updates on the casino are at facebook.com/winatrivers or on Twitter at @winatrivers.