Earlier this month, JACK Thistledown Racino opened a new 12,000-square-foot, multi-level outdoor gaming patio area. Located on the property’s front side, Revel Oak features 250 video terminals and a bar on the top level. The area is accessible from both levels of the facility and is now open 24-hours to the public.
The new area offers many of the standard casino amenities. It also presents added luxuries. This includes a grand double-radius staircase, custom terrazzo flooring and a hand-blown chandelier designed by a Cleveland-based artist. Revel Oak also allows patrons to smoke while gambling, a practice generally banned inside traditional casinos in Ohio.
Gaming facilities across Ohio have added outdoor patios similar to Revel Oak over recent years. Especially since the introduction of indoor restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angela Mathews, general manager of JACK Thistledown, told PlayOhio that COVID-19 certainly played a role in the outdoor expansion. But it was not the main factor.
“We had planned to build this patio for several years and started the process prior to the start of the pandemic. While COVID impacted the completion of this expansion, it was not the catalyst. Once we were able to do so, it was important to us to follow through with the project.”
Revel Oak adds another perk to JACK Thistledown
Mathews said the facility boasts state-of-the-art, climate-controlled features. Such a design will allow Revel Oak to maintain full capacity, even during Cleveland’s frigid winter weather.
“Revel Oak will be open all year long as we have designed the space specifically with the Cleveland weather in mind,” Mathews explained. “Through the use of louvers, heaters, and fans we can continue to allow an unobstructed flow of air throughout the space but keep the elements out.”
Located in the struggling Cleveland suburb of North Randall, the racino has no table games. But JACK Thistledown does offer video lottery terminals that resemble slot machines.
With VLTs, though, games generally involve multiple players linked to the same game and competing for the same prize. Meanwhile, traditional slot machines are designed to be independent gaming machines where players are competing against the house.
JACK Thistledown building on strong start to 2021
Opened in 2013, JACK Thistledown has long been cited as a basis for economic growth in the area.
When reached by PlayOhio, North Randall Council President Woodrow Marcus made clear his support of the project.
“This is a seven million dollar state-of-the-art renovation project that I am told is like no other facility in the state,” Marcus said. “As far as the village we are excited and very satisfied and encourage all business and real estate investment upgrades in the area.”
Of the 11 racinos and casinos in Ohio, JACK Thistledown was among only three facilities statewide to report a year-over-year increase in business in January 2021. Mathews asserted the rise in revenue reflects a focus on guest safety and the introduction of over 250 brand-new games.
“I believe in this past year we have been able to create a level of loyalty with our guests that we haven’t had before,” Mathews said.
“Not only have we been able to provide our guests a place for entertainment during these unprecedented times, we have done so while making their health and safety our top priority. With that we have created an exciting entertainment destination that our guests feel comfortable coming back to.”