How to expertly design a casino


It’s seemingly impossible to escape any kind of gambling / table gaming news these days, with a million print ads, TV ads, radio ads, carrier pigeon ads, apparently it’s the issue we’re all most sick of hearing about.

Be that as it may, one particular aspect of Baltimore City’s future probably going to be built casino along the Russell Street corridor caught my eye a few weeks ago and I thought I’d sit down and talk about it, possibly make a few suggestions of my own for the situation at hand.

And so it goes: Locust Point based design firm Ayers Saint Gross was charged with coming up with a design for the Caesars / Harrah’s facility which would “focus on Baltimore’s cultural identity” or something – whatever that means, and this is what they came up with as presented in November of 2011:


The design was rejected by panel for approval, citing an obtrusive parking garage design for 4,000 cars that would essentially warp and retard the Baltimore skyline (from space? from where?). Plan rejected, come back next time with a better one.

Well, as it turns out, Ayers Saint Gross wasn’t cutting the muster (or whatever) and were dropped from the project and Cleveland, OH based KA, Inc. was charged with the redesign. After months of diligent work and scrupulous detailing, KA, Inc. unveiled their ambitious redesign for the casino to the very same UDARP panel as before a few weeks ago, a wildly new and different reimagination that truly embraces the spirit of the project:


If you look very closely, you’ll notice these two designs are wildly different, such as the slightly lighter sky texture color, marginally pushed forward skywalk and some other stuff that I’m guessing a designer making over $50,000 a year stretched his or her mouse click fingers for roughly eight minutes to change in the hopes that the UDARP panel wouldn’t notice that the plans are essentially identical to one another. Well they did notice, and rejected the plan citing essentially identical issues as previously.

Since then, other news sources such as The Brew have made some suggestions as to how this gobstrocity could fit into Baltimore’s landscape, which is great – but they’re not focusing on the most important aspects of this thing; distracting from the fact that it’s really ugly. If we were to say, gussy up the facade a bit and make it really super Baltimore the UDARP panel may stop paying attention to the enormous parking garage marring our pristine skyline and be so dazzled by the zazz that they’d approve it immediately. I believe my updated proposal achieves such a thing, because I spent tens of minutes designing it.

click to enlarge

You’ll notice some key differences in this design; it truly embraces Baltimore’s rich cultural tapestry with the addition of the crab mural on the right, signifying our dedication to preservation of the Chesapeake Bay. The Berger Cookie marquee on the left reminds visitors that Berger Cookies are delicious. Instead of some boring video feed on the outside of people having fun, a static image of Ray Lewis’ jersey. Everyone loves Ray Ray! Two duplicate man woman statues lighting the night sky to remind us of the importance of independent art and philanthropy. A line of gigantic pink flamingo ornaments along the entry way coz hahahahahaha they’re zany! The star above the Harrah’s logo has been replaced with a neon Mr. Boh for obvious reasons, and finally a quadruple sized version of the Cal Ripken statue seen at Camden Yards, which occasionally barks out promotional slogans from a speaker system installed in its mouth region – “COME TO HARRAH’S DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE! THE LOOSEST SLOTS AND RECORD BREAKING STREAKS! THEY PUT MINE TO SHAME!” Oh and Gravedigger.

UDARP, I feel you’ll find that my redesign is worthy of your consideration and I’ll take my $50,000 in cashier’s check form. Thank you.




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