Bathed in the sparkle and allure of Caesars Windsor, a celebration was held today, marking 15 eventful years since the famed Caesars sign first bathed the Windsor skyline in its iridescent glow. This landmark event forever altered the pulse and rhythm of the city’s entertainment scene.
For Kevin Laforet, the charismatic President of Caesars Windsor, this day stirred a colorful tapestry of memories spanning a decade and a half. He traveled back in time to 2008, the year when Casino Windsor seamlessly transitioned into the Caesars family with a $429 million infrastructure investment, an entertainment titan boasting over 56 properties across the US. The brand was, and still is, synonymous with unrivaled service and a dazzling array of headline entertainment.
“The first flicker of the Caesars sign 15 years ago feels like only yesterday,” he mused, a nostalgic glint in his eyes. “I can still hear the soul-stirring chords of Billy Joel’s opening performance on our grand Colosseum stage. That was also the day we unveiled our second Four Diamond hotel tower and announced our multi-million-dollar property expansion.”
Laforet unveiled the intriguing backstory behind selecting Windsor as their strategic base. “Rewind 30 years, and Casino Windsor had just thrown open its doors, quickly earning the title of one of the most prosperous casinos in the world, by square footage. Brandishing the Caesars brand years later was our masterstroke in tackling competition from Detroit. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), our primary investor, saw potential in not just the property, but also the community, envisioning a surge in employment and tourism. Today, we continue to be a robust pillar of employment and a dynamic catalyst in the tourism industry.”
However, the journey to the top was anything but smooth, Laforet admitted. “In the early days, we enjoyed an unchallenged monopoly. It was easy to bask in our initial success. But soon, trials knocked on our door – Detroit casinos, the aftermath of 9/11, a strict smoking ban, SARS, and most recently, the unprecedented COVID pandemic. Yet, it’s during these storms that our team’s resilience shines the brightest.”
With optimism in his voice, Laforet looked ahead at the post-COVID landscape. “We’ve weathered the storm well. After a hiatus of over two years, we’re gradually reconnecting with our US clientele. I’m excited about our future trajectory.”
In a heartwarming display of community support, Caesars Windsor celebrated their 15-year milestone by pledging a generous donation of $15,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex and promising $1,000 to 15 local non-profit organizations.
“Our community ties run deeper than corporate donations,” he added, his voice filled with pride. “Our Caesars HERO volunteer program, along with the selfless dedication of our employees who’ve volunteered over 100,000 hours to local causes, is a source of immense pride for us.”
With their current operating agreement due to expire on August 1, 2025, Laforet acknowledged the possibility of changes. “OLG has kickstarted the prequalification process. We’re open to bidding, but for now, that’s all I can reveal.”
This vibrant celebration was a fitting homage to Caesars Windsor’s thrilling 15-year journey – a journey marked by resilience, unparalleled entertainment, and unwavering community support, undeterred by adversities. It was a true testament to the enduring spirit of the entertainment industry where, no matter what, the show must go on.
For more about Caesars Windsor, visit www.caesars.com/caesars-windsor.