The expansive single-level facility (104,000 square feet total) boasts over 1,200 Class III slot machines in an atmosphere reminiscent of the best casinos in Las Vegas. The Calder Casino is the only casino at a Thoroughbred horse track in Miami-Dade County and is the second pari-mutuel facility in the county to offer slots. Voters approved a referendum to allow slot machines at the then three existing pari-mutuel facilities in Miami-Dade in January 2008. Calder broke ground on the new facility on June 3, 2009 and completed construction earlier this month.
Games like Star Trek, Wheel of Fortune, Wizard of Oz, Jaws, Slingo and Monopoly are some of the most popular in the industry and are now available at Calder. “Royal Match 21” (electronic blackjack) is new to the marketplace and is featured at the Calder Casino as well. Coming in the spring will be the new Kentucky Derby-themed slot machine, licensed by Calder’s parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”).
Hundreds of construction workers were employed by Calder and CDI over the last seven months to make the Calder Casino a reality. Calder has also nearly doubled its full-time workforce to support the new business, meaning new jobs for over 400 South Floridians.
The Calder Casino will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. and 24 hours on weekends. In addition to the slot machines, the Calder Casino also offers three brand new dining options:
Twin Spires Tavern
* Casual, South Florida with Latin/Caribbean influences
* Sporty atmosphere with a chic flair featuring choices ranging from sandwiches to steaks, appetizers to entrees and salads to decadent desserts
* Beautiful, centrally-located bar
Tropical Gardens Buffet
* A plethora of tempting choices, including a “comfort food” section with a carving station; an Italian station with a brick pizza oven as its centerpiece; authentic gas fired woks anchoring the Pacific Rim display; and the center island with garden fresh salads and an extensive assortment of dessert choices
* “Grab and Go”
* Relaxed fare with quick and friendly service for guests who want a fast snack to replenish themselves prior to returning to the excitement of the casino floor
Calder guests can also wager on live Thoroughbred simulcast races or play Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud at Studz Poker Club every day and night of the week. Studz Poker Club, which opened in October 2009, is located on the first floor of the existing grandstand building and is a gateway between the new slots facility and the horse racing facility. A covered walkway connects the two buildings.
Calder first opened as a horse racing track in 1971 and has welcomed locals and visitors alike every year since then. It’s been one of the most successful pari-mutuel franchises in Florida’s history. A Grand Opening celebration for the new casino is scheduled for Jan. 29-31, at which there will be a celebration toast, cake and ribbon cutting.