Jack Detroit, formally Greektown Casino gets a new vast array of dining options, new signage and 20 local comp partners.
Of all JACK Entertainment’s rebranding projects, perhaps the most challenging in terms of size and scope is the transition happening in the Motor City at what has long been known as Greektown Casino- Hotel to JACK Detroit. However, officials see this challenge as a good one, and they’re betting that casino patrons will agree. With a new casino-floor bar stocked with Michigan beers and wines, half a dozen fresh dining options and renewed interior and exterior décor, patrons will see how different JACK Detroit will be. The staff and executives at JACK Entertainment LLC will reveal the bulk of the changes by May 1, the day the renovations are slated to open to the public. So be ready to eat, order your drink to be delivered to you via one of the slot machines and use an app on your smartphone to show off your player’s card and more.
Jason Gregorec, CEO and general manager of Greektown Casino-Hotel, said they are working with city residents, local businesses and community members to ensure the casino and hotel maintain, celebrate and enhance the history as well as the traditions of Detroit’s beloved Greektown district. The Greektown name will still be front and center inside the casino, and its local offices will remain in the district. “We’ll always be a local casino,” Gregorec said, “but I think our guests are going to enjoy JACK’s progressive spirit, excellence through innovation and unexpected surprises.”
JACK Entertainment describes itself as “a Detroit-based urban gaming company focused on the development of gaming facilities designed to maximize connectivity and economic impact in the local areas where they reside.” Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures and majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is chairman of the board of JACK. CEO is Matthew Cullen, a principal in Rock Ventures and also a majority owner of the Cavaliers. The company includes more than 13,000 gaming positions, 400,000 square feet of gaming space, 400 hotel rooms and 35 bars and restaurants. JACK also has nearly 7,000 team members serving guests at its properties, including casinos in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
In its Detroit location, the first thing patrons will notice as they walk up to JACK Detroit is the bold new signage, Gregorec said. There are more than 1,500 new signs throughout the property, both inside and out. These dynamic additions are not only vibrant in terms of decoration but also offer the latest in technology to ensure patrons can find what they want when they want it, he noted. Gregorec said JACK Detroit’s biggest changes are the new dining experiences. Market District has become the Monroe District with six new fast-casual restaurants in a contemporary setting. There will be an array of flavors with food made from scratch. For example, the casino is adding a ramen noodle bar with pop-culture décor. It will serve up traditional Japanese ramen with a Detroit twist. The menu will also include an array of classic nigiri, sashimi and specialty sushi rolls.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time with the Monroe District to make sure we get it right,” Gregorec said. “As a result, we have six unique, very distinct district restaurants. It’s the absolute best dining option in Detroit and will have a big impact on patrons.” Patrons also will appreciate how JACK Detroit is linking its comps to local businesses, services and other Detroit entertainment options, Gregorec said. “This is what Dan [Gilbert] is all about: He wants to include the whole city. Most casinos only use comps within their four walls. Here, we have 20 comp partners. So, if you win here, you can go to other areas to use your comp dollars. We wanted to have that outreach to Detroit.”
Another benefit of being part of the JACK family is how patrons can use their relationship with the casino at the company’s other properties, Gregorec said.
“JACK Detroit is now part of a much larger organization. The best part for our guests is that when you are part of a bigger brand, your points or comps are transferrable to our other properties, such as the ones in Ohio,” Gregorec added. “Plus, as a family of companies, we can consistently offer new and exciting things in terms of technology, the games we offer and live table games. It’s going to be a fun atmosphere and have things no one else in the Detroit market offers.”
Neighbor Wahlbergers is excited to have JACK Detroit draw in additional customers to Greektown and the city as a whole, said Nino Cutraro, managing partner for the bi-level burger and shake restaurant owned by the Wahlberg family. “The casino’s been a dream to work with — it looks beautiful, they advertise the neighborhood and they get people down here,” Cutraro said. “They really complement the other bars and restaurants in the area — that’s why people come here. It’s a downtown in a downtown.”
JACK Detroit is making some important moves to respect its current patrons, gain new customers and appeal to that all-important millennial client, said Sean Valentino, retail operations director at local REDICO (Real Estate Development and Investment Company) and co-owner of Green Oak Village Place, a Brighton-based mall. “People don’t want the same-old traditional entertainment. They want unique. They want local flair. They want Downtown,” Valentino said. “They don’t want chain restaurants, either. They want individual and they want experiences.”