|By Dawn Gagnon, Bangor Daily News,
MaineMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 21, 2008 - BANGOR, Maine -- Hollywood Slots on Wednesday unveiled the final component of its $132 million-plus gambling and entertainment complex.
Floors one through four of its 152-room hotel are open for business. The event was applauded during a grand opening celebration that drew several company and city officials, as well as area businesspeople including staff members from the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce.
The remaining floors of the seven-story hotel, which includes
a business center and fitness center on the ground floor, will open on
Sept. 8, Hollywood Slots spokeswoman Amy Kenney said.
The rest of the company's new facility -- including a gaming floor with 1,000 slot machines, a lounge, conference facilities, buffet, snack bar and attached parking garage -- opened on July 1 amid much fanfare. The hotel, however, opened later because of the long lead time needed to acquire building materials and finishes.
"We are very, very excited about today and what it means to us," Kenny said at the start of Wednesday's opening ceremony.
City Councilor Gerry Palmer agreed.
"That's 152 beds right here on the Bangor Waterfront," Palmer said, noting that the hotel offered views of the tents being set up for this weekend's American Folk Festival as well as the cruise ships that now visit the waterfront as part of their summer itineraries.
Hollywood Slots General Manager Jon Johnson also pronounced Wednesday a banner day for the Bangor operation.
"This capital program has provided over 500 jobs for the community," he said, adding, "It's a beautiful facility."
Though the hotel did not officially open until after Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, it already has undergone a workout.
In the week leading up to the opening, a number of Hollywood Slots employees stayed in the rooms overnight to look for any glitches that needed to be worked out before guests began arriving.
This week, some of the rooms were occupied by executives from parent company Penn National Gaming Inc. and the various other gaming properties in Penn's portfolio.
Among them was Timothy Wilmott, Penn's president and chief operating officer. He said Wednesday that the Bangor operation saw record revenues in July, its first full month in the new complex. Its customer count has been "well beyond our expectations," he said.
Hollywood Slots officials showed off the new hotel on Wednesday. The rooms, as well as the lobby and business and fitness centers, are decorated in a rich palette of beige and gold tones accented with black.
By the time it is fully operational, the hotel will have 152 rooms, four of them double-size penthouse suites on the top floor. Many of the rooms will offer views of the Penobscot River and the Bangor-Brewer skyline.
According to Kenney, room rates currently start at $140.
To see more of the Bangor Daily News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.bangordailynews.com.
Copyright (c) 2008, Bangor Daily News, Maine
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA. NASDAQ-NMS:PENN,