Casino hosting outdoor summer concert seriesWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hosting an outdoor summer concert series has been a goal of Hollywood Casino Toledo executives since the venue opened along the Maumee River almost a year ago, said General Manager Richard St. Jean.
“We knew that entertainment would be successful in our H Lounge since the opening. We’ve had a lot of great bands and attracted just huge crowds,” St. Jean said. “Back when we were under construction, we anticipated that kind of success and determined that the front lot would make a great riverfront venue. The outdoor concerts are obviously predicated by the success of our indoor free shows. From that, we decided to move forward.”
Enter the Spotlight Summer Nights Concert Series.
A covered stage will be set up on a parking lot for each show along with ground-level seating for 2,500 people and food and drink tents, said Keira Finnegan, Hollywood Casino Toledo advertising and promotions manager.
First up is a night of Motown music with The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards and The Spinners, set for 8 p.m. May 24. Tickets are $45 and available at www.ticketweb.com.
Also scheduled to perform is Air Supply on June 21 and LeAnn Rimes on July 5. Tickets to those shows are $30 each. All tickets are for general admission with first come, first serve seating starting at 6:30 p.m. Parking is free. Hot dogs, brats and alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks will be available. Attendees, who must be 21 or older, will be able to go in and out of the casino with a wristband.
Many factors are taken into consideration when booking acts for the series, St. Jean said.
“We look at our clientele. We look at our demographics and where they are coming from. We look at bands that have been successful regionally,” St. Jean said. “We have over half a dozen offers out to other bands as well, so our goal is to have ideally 10 shows this summer.”
“These concerts will hopefully drive consumers that haven’t been to our venue before and just provide continued exposure, which is good for Hollywood Casino Toledo, but it’s also good for the city of Toledo,” St. Jean said.
Richard Nachazel, president of Destination Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed the series should be good for Toledo’s economy.
“Many people will plan on not only coming to the casino and staying for the concert, but very possibly making it an overnight stay in Toledo, which means additional revenue of a hotel room, late night dinner, breakfast the next day,” Nachazel said.
“Even if they don’t decide to stay overnight, the fact there’s a concert in the evening means many more people will likely be looking for dinner opportunities prior to the concert or something to do afterward should they choose to gamble for a while and then look for an opportunity for extended evening entertainment.”
It’s taken months of planning, but everything is starting to come together, Finnegan said.
“Now that things are getting set up, we’re getting super excited,” Finnegan said.
St. Jean agreed.
“It will be a fun, energetic evening,” St. Jean said. “I think it’s just going to be a lot of fun.”
The Temptations sold tens of millions of albums, received four Grammy Awards and had 38 Billboard Top 40 hits, according to a news release from the casino. Dennis Edwards joined the lineup in 1971. The Temptations Review includes Edwards as well as Paul Williams Jr., son of original Temptation Paul Williams, David Sea, Mike Patillo and Chris Arnold.
The Spinners offer “sophisticated uptempo R&B with precision choreography,” according to the release. The group has sold more than 60 million records, received six Grammy nominations and have 18 Top 40 hits and eight Top 10 hits.
Air Supply, featuring original members Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, is known for such hit songs as “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “The One that You Love,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.”
Rimes recently released a new album, “Spitfire.” She made her breakthrough into country music in 1996 at age 13, winning two Grammys the following year.
For more information, visit www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com.