Friday, May 11, 2012

New name for Harrah's Chester? Bet on it

It should be an interesting day today down at Harrah’s. Notice I did not say it’s formal name Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack.
That’s because after today the Casino and Racetrack will still be there. But will not.
Starting tomorrow, the gambling mecca credited with kickstarting the economic growth along the Chester’s waterfront will no longer list the city in its name.
Instead it will rebrand itself as Harrah’s Philadelphia. It’s understandable from an economic point of view. That is not making it sit any better with a lot of folks in Chester, who see it as a slight after the city opened its arms to welcome Harrah’s and usher in a new era of legalized gaming in Pennsylvania.
Ron Baumann is the new boss down at Harrah’s, and he offers a perfectly rational explanation for the name change. They want to expand and take advantage of the entire region. Very often people coming into the city will search for a casino and not come up with Harrah’s because it is listed as being in Chester. Which it is.
Chester Mayor John Linder is on record as not necessarily being thrilled by the change, but he understands the business sense it makes. He also understands that Harrah’s is not moving out of the city, and it will continue to pour money into the city coffers. The more money Harrah’s makes, the more revenue for Chester.
The casino is holding a bit of a celebration to mark the change, including a new Tony Luke’s cheesesteak joint and an appearance by world champion eater and current Wing Bowl kingpin Takeru Kobayashi attempting to break his own world eating record. Tomorrow the festivities continue with an appearance by southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd on the field of the race track.
None of that will ease the sting some are feeling at what they perceive to be just one more slap in the face for a city struggling to reverse its fortunes.
What’s in a name? Obviously, today at Harrah’s that depends on whom you ask.


Blogger CharlieSix said...

I did not really understand the name change until I read the paper-paper this morning. It now makes sense. The fact remains that the City of Chester and Delaware County are still going to receive their payments under the agreement forged five years ago. So if the new name has a positive impact on the facility, there will be an increased "trickle down" $$$ impact. So, yes, the Bigs at Caesars Entertainment Corp. might have done us a favor with this one.

May 12, 2012 at 8:02 PM 

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