Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati requesting 80-foot sign

On Wednesday, the City of Cincinnati’s Zoning Hearings Examiner will hear a request from the owners of the new Horseshoe Casino asking for the city to grant several variances to the city’s sign ordinance for signage at the casino site. Casino representatives are asking for more signage and larger signs than the current ordinance allows.

A variety of signs are included in the package including three signs that will display a real-time count of available parking spaces in the casino garage, and a monument sign that will located along Gilbert Avenue and rise 80 feet in height.

The sign, which is 943 square feet in size, exceeds the maximum allowed signage by 678 square feet in total area and 64 feet in height. According to the plans, the sign will be illuminated and visible along I-71 and up Gilbert Avenue into Walnut Hills, as well as parts of Mount Auburn and Mount Adams. For reference, the sign will be taller than the six-story building currently housing casino construction offices at Broadway Street and Eggleston Avenue, and will dominate the skyline view looking south from I-71 like a peculiar star above the Greyhound bus terminal.

In requesting for the sign variance, casino officials argued that they need the site to be visible to drivers along I-71. Once erected, the sign will tower above the casino complex and adjacent highway as a beacon of hope and good fortune to gamblers, and serve as a landmark to those traveling through downtown Cincinnati.

Residents living along Reading Road and in Mount Adams will also be able to bask in the comforting warm neon glow emanating from the sign at night. In fact, some may never need a night light again!

Some neighborhood leaders have raised concerns that the meeting is being held without enough notice for neighborhood councils; however, it seems to be in the city’s interest to get this sign up as soon as possible so suburbanites have plenty of lead time to know exactly where the casino is and how many parking spaces are free in its breathtakingly massive parking garage.

Already, out-of-towners are looking to flock to the casino but are unsure of its exact location.

“I was approached by a woman at the airport the other day and she asked me where the casino was being built,” disclosed UrbanCincy Chief Technologist Travis Estell. Thankfully, the woman will now know where the casino is with this gargantuan sign!

Springboro resident Chris Cousins also shared his enthusiasm for the proposed sign saying, “I’m really looking forward to dining at the casino’s buffet and this sign will point me in the right direction.”

The meeting will take place Wednesday, October 24 at 9am in the Permit Center located at 3300 Central Parkway (map). This facility is served by Metro’s #20 bus route.

  • Ugh. As if I needed any more reason to hate this casino.

  • Jason W. McGlone

    I live in Bellevue and suspect that I might be able to see this sign from my house. Holy moly, that’s big.

  • sarcasm much?

    haha. good stuff though.

    also, this sign is atrocious. who is showing up at this hearing and will they be bringing their ‘A’ game?

    someone with a familiarity with hearings and code needs to be able to represent how disgusting this sign is legalistically.

  • A little departure from UrbanCincys usual style bu I think this deserves it. I have a doubt gamblers, unless having to sell their smart phones to pay gambling debts, will have trouble finding this place.
    Holy Crap, it already dominates the corner of downtown.

  • Mark Christol

    Wouldn’t signage along the roads work?
    Now, if the sign had an eye in a pyramid up at the top – THAT might be cool.
    I am assuming the blue bloods of Mt Adams will veto this?

  • What I don’t understand is why they feel the need to build a suburban-style monument sign. Heck, instead of doing a monument sign they could just build the sign on top of the casino’s roof and accomplish nearly the same thing without coming across like a Love’s Travel Stop.

    • It’s really becomes a billboard at that height.

  • Honestly, I’m surprised that they legally need to ask for a variance. The constitutional amendment we approved, enabling four casinos to be built in Ohio, stated the casinos would not be subject to normal zoning regulations.

    • I believe that you are correct. To my knowledge, the I-71 deck is 40 feet above the street level of Gilbert Ave where the sign will be erected. So this “gargantuan” structure wil “tower” over I-71 by approx. 40 feet. How high are the illuminated billboards on I-71? In a meeting I attending this week about the sign, Casino representatives said that more muted “earth tones” were chosen for the sign’s lights rather than bright red color scheme on such signs at other Horseshoe casinos. Take a look at this sign:

    • Now that the sign is up, I’ve gotta say that it’s not really that big of a deal. Definitely not as distracting as some of the electronic billboards along I-71. Now, if they let the lights burn out over time and it becomes an eyesore, that’s another story.

    • What’s worse, I think, is that giant billboard they have plastered along the entire side of the mammoth parking garage. Let’s hope that parking lot and available land between that and the interstate gets built on sooner than later.

    • Jeffrey Jakucyk

      My understanding is that the casinos are exempt from zoning restrictions that wouldn’t permit the operation of a casino. Sign ordinances and design review boards and such don’t do that, so they should still apply.

  • I’m not feeling it, but I agree that they do need a sign,…..just not this one.

  • Completely unnecessary!!!! Totally out of scale!!!! There should be prominent signage, but this is overkill and will look simply tacky. And a giant sign showing number of spaces in the parking garage is ridiculous.

  • Aaron Watkins

    This would be hilariously grand, I say build it.

    • Aaron Watkins

      Also, I was just thinking, if the sign being too bright is an issue, is it not possible to have two settings for the sign? I know many tall buildings that have decorative lighting will turn them off, or some of them off around midnight. Maybe this sign could have a night setting that dims the decorative elements, leaving the name, horseshoe, and then only a little of the accent lighting.

  • If anyone wants to check out the entire variance package for all of the signs being proposed by casino developers, you can do so here:

    • Thanks for posting that link! I just read through the variance package and really only the insane 80′ sign looks to be a problem. The other signs look pretty good and the staff recommends that signs on Reading downsized to a reasonable size/scale. But the monolith is totally out there, designed as if it were out in a corn field with highway traffic approaching at 80 mph!

  • Sophia Zee

    This is so tacky and as a suburbanite, I’ll ignore the broad stroked-brush insult. (NOBODY I know thinks this Casino should even be built, by the way. All suburban friends, btw) What happened to a well lit billboard or two and some extra exit signs. This is way too much and if it screws up anybody’s view of the city or the skyline, I’d be totally honked off if I lived nearby. Then again, I don’t like garish. Cincy would be insane to allow such a monstrosity not matter what color…then again casino’s are over saturated all over now so I don’t see this place lasting long. Used to be Casino’s were in Vega, Reno and Atlantic city. Ugh

  • Mark Christol
    • So Monroe and Warren County have a problem with that racino sign because it’s too tacky but they have no problem with an enormous “five dollar foot-long” Jesus in front of the world’s ugliest church?

  • Look at what the city zoning hearings examiner/BZA has done to Cincinnati’s skyline. What confidence should anyone have that a building tenant isn’t going to put up whatever they want?

  • Anyone know how the hearing went this morning?

  • disqus_fEEozhk6oX

    This is crazy, build a normal size sigh plz, we already have to deal with another crack rock in over-the-rhine, dan gilbert, you don’t need ppl to see it from space to get people in there

  • its glow will help illuminate the faded luster of the late 90’s Caddys, BMWs, & Benzes parked in the casino garage.

  • Outrageous! This is not Las Vegas. If people can’t use a map, phone, or gps to locate the casino, perhaps they should consider investing in an education rather than feeding the slot machines. I’m sure there will be signs on the interstate notifying people of the exit. They find Music Hall, the zoo, and the convention center without an EIGHTY FOOT sign. The Horseshoe is a hideous blight on the city already. Don’t make it worse.

  • Mark Christol

    The Enquirer finally found out about this & they put up a poll.
    Majority thinks it’s great.