Monday, October 4, 2010

The Grand Victoria

The Grand Victoria Casino floats on the Fox River, in suburban Elgin, Illinois. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually floating on the water-the law in Illinois allows casinos to be on any body of water within the state (except Lake Michigan), as a permanently moored barge. There are several riverboat casinos here-I don't know where the conceit of making them look like actual boats came from, but it does make for some interesting architecture (that tall building, way in the background, is the bank building in downtown Elgin).

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the casino when it was first opened, but it has turned out to be a boon to the city of Elgin. The downtown district has had a bit of a renaissance since the Grand Victoria opened, with several upscale restaurants and shops opening in the historic buildings. This is in addition to the fees paid by the casino, and the general uptick in business for local stores, gas stations, etc. And, I have to admit, it looks pretty cool all lit up at night.

I really didn't intend to write a little piece on Elgin and the casino, I really just wanted to post this picture because I thought it looked really cool.

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