WEB EXCLUSIVE: Get your first look inside the new Hard Rock Rocksino at Northfield Park.
CLEVELAND - The Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday approved Horseshoe Casino refinancing plans that clears the way for a glass enclosed 170-foot skywalk connecting the casino and and its parking garage across Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue.
Rock Ohio's refinancing plan contains funds to purchase the Higbee Building.
Rock Ohio is in negotiations with Forest City. The deal should be finalized in a few weeks at which time construction on the skywalk would begin with the hope of having it finished before winter. It will cost around $5 million.
Outside the casino Wednesday night customers didn't mind walking across the street when the weather is nice but in the winter, not so much. "It'll cut back on us getting wet when it's raining or it's snowing," said Tiffany Few of Cuyahoga Falls. "We don't have to fight the traffic and it will be great."
The city approved the walkway in 2011 but the holdup has been with building owner Forest City and the historic tax credits that would have to repaid if the walkway was installed.
While negotiations are still underway a Rock Ohio spokesperson said the purchase price would be around $81 million and that would include the repayment amount of the tax credit.
The Horseshoe Casino currently only occupies the building's first four floors of the Higbee.
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The new Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park features 2,300 slot machines as well as restaurants and live entertainment that keep with the Hard Rock theme.