The renamed and remodeled Elements Casino in View Royal was scheduled to open this month but due to some construction delays, that has been pushed to early spring.
“Our motto is ‘something for everyone’ and it’s something that we’re finally going to be able to deliver, as soon as our renovations are complete,” said Chris Lynn, the Vancouver Island executive director of Great Canadian Casinos Inc., which operates the Island Highway venue.
He pointed to a large section of the casino floor that, up to just recently, was not part of the gaming facility.
“We opened up a partial side and installed an additional 200 slot machines, and in the very near future, there will be another 230 [slot machines] brought in very soon to add to that total. Anyone who hasn’t been here in awhile and comes in will be amazed at the changes,” he said.
But what has Lynn most excited is the addition of the non-gaming amenities in a portion of the facility still under construction.
“What we’ve been missing is the food and beverage components and the entertainment within the casino.”
“That’s what will make it attractive to people who want to come to the casino, not just for the gaming, but for a nice meal and some entertainment. They will be able to come for a great night out, regardless of whether you want to do some gaming while here,” Lynn said, adding “we really want to expand our demographic and this will be a step in that direction.”
When the renovations are complete, the food and beverage components to which Lynn refers will include two different restaurants, featuring four distinct menus.
On the upper level, one of the restaurants will feature upscale English pub fare and a buffet. That restaurant will be located on the same level as the entertainment facility where Lynn said that Elements plans to bring in everything from rock bands to stand up comedy.
“We even have the capacity for some light theatre, if we want to go that way,” explained Lynn, adding that the stage venue is adjustable and while it has the capacity to seat 500 to 600 patrons, it can also be modified to a smaller stage for more intimate performances.
On the main floor, a noodle bowl and quick service restaurant will serve a more informal choice of food to hungry gamers but will also feature a second, smaller stage and seating to allow for smaller acts, including some local performers or open mic nights.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for local performers to get some exposure,” he said.
In anticipation for the new facilities and increased gaming capacity, Elements has already brought on about 100 new team members. The talent for stages will be the responsibility of a third party booking agency.
And, while the addition to the casino was originally slated to open this month, Lynn is confident renovations will be complete for an early spring opening.
“We had some setbacks with trades being hard to find in this hot market, and then we had some weather issues, but we’re booking our first entertainment for May 5 and I’m confident that everything will be up and running by then,” he said.
But plans are not stopping there, Lynn noted there may be even bigger things on the horizon.
“The sky is really the limit and we’re already looking towards what will happen next. Of course we want to get the current additions finished and operating, but it doesn’t signal an end to what we can do here,” he said.
“We’ll be getting the current operation working at its highest capacity, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end. We have some capacity on the second floor that isn’t committed as yet so we’ll be looking at that. And even thought there are no immediate plans at this point, we have some land across the street and will be looking at what can happen there. There’s been some thought to a hotel adjacent to the casino to truly make it a destination attraction, and even though we have no plans as yet, it’s something that’s definitely on our radar.”