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Hollywood Park Casino Information

The Cover Story in the Nov. 21, 2003 issue of Card Player magazine is about the Hollywood Park Casino Makeover. The article has a creative start, "Just down the street from Tinsel Town, a radically different kind of makeover show is now in progress in Inglewood. In this production, architects, designers, and carpenters have replaced doctors, nurses, and hair stylists. The star of this show is Hollywood Park Casino." [50]

Details of the upgrade are given descriptively, "The most notable projects include a face-lift of the California games section's high-limit Golden Horse Room and the poker section's high-limit Pegasus Room. The front lobby is also targeted to be remodeled. For the Pegasus Room, new carpeting is on order, with a completion date set for late December. The carpet was handpicked by Phyllis Caro, director of poker operations, and features a navy blue background with beautiful gold design motifs and accents. Reupholstered chairs, new wallcoverings, a new sign-up board, and color programmable decorative lamps will complete the makeover." [50]

Even though the California casinos do not give out free cocktails like in Vegas, some players still like to drink regardless. Hollywood Park recognizes this and plans accordingly. "On the California games main floor, a large food service station will be demolished to mayke way for a cocktail bar and small demonstration kitchen." [50]

After playing at both Hollywood Park and Commerce on November 14th, 2003 before a Laker game, I noticed that the food options were better at Commerce. Players were able to choose meals from a full menu. Hollywood Park plans to have some nice dining options as well. "Perhaps the most dramatic transformation of all will be a completely revamped player food menu. The casino recently hired David McGrath, the restaurant manager at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills, and a regular $25-$50 hold'em player, to develop and implement a new dining concept." [107]

Pink's Hot Dogs is a Los Angeles icon. Fortunately they have teamed up with Hollywood Park for a winning combination. "Other unique food options are already in place, and have proven to be extremely popular. Hollywood Park Casino recently teamed up with the famous Pink's Hot Dogs to open the first freestanding Pink's Hot Dogs stand outside of the original Melrose and LaBrea location. The hot pink and yellow hot dog stand is located in the casino lobby and also features fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts around-the-clock." [107]

The Los Angeles Lakers used to play their home games at The Great Western Forum right across the street from Hollywood Park. I have some great memories from the Forum including seeing the Lakers take on Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the NBA Championships. My friends and I have been Laker season ticket holders for years going back to when they played their games at the Forum. When they moved from The Great Western Forum to the Staples Center, our new seats still had a nice vantage point but they were significantly higher as the Staples Center is a much larger building than the Great Western Forum. The Forum has also been used for numerous concerts. I saw Robert Plant and Jimmy Page perform at the Forum as well as an outstanding Pearl Jam concert. Recognizing the fact that Hollywood Park has a lot of history with the Lakers, they have some unqique perks that other casinos do not. "Other changes have nothing to do with food or remodeling, but are every bit as impressive. In August, the casino purchased a VIP suite at the Staples Center to treat players to complimentary Lakers, Kings, and Clipper games, and other sporting and special events." [107]

I have a lot of great memories from Hollywood Park and The Great Western Forum and part of me wants them to keep things as they are. However, I am happy to see them making some changes at the Hollywood Park Casino to make the casino more modern.

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Hollywood Park Entrance Up Close

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Hollywood Park Entrance From Afar

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