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CLEVELAND – As construction continues on the new downtown Cleveland casino, the developer has agreed to purchase the Ritz-Carlton.

On Friday, Rock Gaming and Caesars Entertainment announced they would buy the 205-room hotel on Huron Street for $36.5 million. The company will also buy an attached five-story commercial office building.

“Adding a luxury hotel and additional casino-support space to our portfolio of companies here is a meaningful opportunity for us as we prepare to open Ohio’s first urban casino in the heart of Cleveland,” said Nate Forbes, a principal of Rock Gaming, in a news release Friday morning.

The Ritz-Carton Cleveland opened in 1990 and will continue to be the only Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel in the city, the news release said. Caesars Entertainment said it will offer deals through their loyalty program, Total Rewards, for independent downtown hotels.

The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will be in the old Higbee Building and is expected to open in March. On Thursday, more than 600 people began a 12-week training program for the new casino. More than 12,000 people applied and 4,000 were interviewed.

To teach the course, Caesars brought in 23 employees from 14 of their locations around the country including Atlantic City, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Diego. They will live here in Cleveland for the next three months.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner and cofounder of Quicken Loans Dan Gilbert is the chairman of Rock Gaming.

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Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5

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