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Hialeah Park Casino Now Open

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - South Florida's Hialeah Park, once referred to as "the world's most beautiful race course," opened the doors of its new casino Wednesday.

The Hialeah Park Casino officially opened Wednesday at 9 a.m. The casino will celebrate with a three-day "rededication" celebration weekend beginning on Friday August 30 and ending Sunday, September 1st.

The three-day event will include fireworks, the launch of the weekly "Salsa under the Stars" series, as well as a Saturday performance by Willy Chirino, the face of the Casino, and more.

The historic race track has undergone renovations to bring forth a new state-of-the art casino located in the once abandoned grandstand.

The casino houses 882 slot machines, more than 23 poker tables, electronic blackjack, electronic roulette, and three domino tables along with a variety of lounges, cafes and restaurants.

Slots are on the first floor and the poker room is on the second. The entire casino stretches 30-thousand square feet.

Hialeah Park first opened in 1925. It was purchased by current owner John J. Brunetti in 1977 but the track was closed in 2001.

"Hialeah Park has served South Florida for over 80 years and with the addition of this beautiful casino we envision that the "Grand Dame" will serve the community for another 80.  The Brunetti family is thankful to all supporters and look forward to Hialeah Park Race Track and Casino to once again become the go-to destination in South Florida," said Brunetti who hopes the park will again become a South Florida entertainment destination.

Brunetti brought-in famed local landscape architect Raymond Jungles, as well as lead architect Donald H. Dissinger from architectural firm Erwing Cole and others to meet the end-of-the-summer deadline.

Brunetti has always said he envisioned carrying on its long and storied history which included visitors such as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Plans to revive Hialeah Park began to take shape after Miami-Dade voters approved slots in 2008 for the three pari-mutuels in operation at the time.

Brunetti won state legislative approval for slots at Hialeah in 2010.

The casino is the first step in a three-phase renovation plan that eventually may include a hotel, shops and offices.

Hialeah also has a transportation option no other casino can offer. The Hialeah Metrorail station is near the edge of the property.

For more information on Hialeah Park Casino, click here.

Click here to view CBS4's exclusive sneak-peek inside the casino before the doors opened to the public.


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