River Rock Casino Resort 20th Anniversary Grand Celebration
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River Rock Casino Resort Celebrates it's 20th Anniversary

Richmond, British Columbia (June 26, 2024) – River Rock Casino Resort (“River Rock”) celebrated its 20th anniversary yesterday with a grand event, marking two decades of delivering Vancouver’s most thrilling gaming, live entertainment, dining, and all-suite accommodations. Since its debut in 2004 as Metro Vancouver’s premier Four-Diamond destination resort, River Rock has continued to attract discerning guests seeking a complete entertainment experience.

The anniversary celebration took place in the main atrium which is undergoing a complete reimagination to accommodate the addition of Gordon Ramsay Steak, the first of Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay’s fine dining restaurants in Canada.

The event was hosted by popular emcee, voice actor, award-winning radio & TV host Kevin Lim, who kicked off the ceremony by inviting Stephen Lee, CEO, Musqueam Capital Corporation, to welcome attendees to Musqueam land. Following moments of levity including “vintage” photos of Great Canadian Entertainment leaders and Lim himself, the event featured remarks by Matthew Anfinson, CEO of Great Canadian Entertainment, and Terrance Doyle, President and Chief Development Officer, who shared stories from the property’s rich 20-year history. Together, they acknowledged all the resort’s dedicated team members, and offered a special champagne toast to honour the 136 “Day One” employees, many of whom were in attendance.

Anfinson spoke about Great Canadian Entertainment’s $500 million investment into River Rock, and pride in being one of the largest employers in the City of Richmond with over 850 team members. He heralded the resort’s impact and its innovation. The property is home to the first curved escalator in Canada, is one of the few venues in the world with a state of the art convertible seating system in its theatre, and the ‘P3’ project with the City of Richmond, TransLink, and the Vancouver Airport Authority led to the development of the south parkade in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics and now serves thousands of commuters in the region daily.

“We are very proud to celebrate two decades of entertainment and excellence at River Rock Casino Resort. This destination stands as a beacon of innovation, continually pushing the boundaries to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests,” said Anfinson. “This success would not be possible without the unwavering dedication and hard work of our exceptional team, whose passion drives our achievement. Together, we have built more than a casino; we have created a legacy of community, opportunity, and shared success. Here’s to many more years of celebrating special moments!”

Lim entertained guests with a fun trivia game, where competitors were asked to name famous artists who have performed at River Rock. Guests remembered many memorable acts including Billy Idol, Earth Wind and Fire and Boys II Men, Kenny Rogers, and Donny & Marie Osmond to name but a few, and  many reminisced about the opening event two decades earlier featuring the legendary Huey Lewis. Lim also highlighted the partnership with LiveNation, which will bring even more top acts to the resort’s approximately 1000 seat theatre.

Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of the City of Richmond, and Jerry Williamson, Director of Gaming Facilities & Development at BCLC, spoke about the over $280 million that the City of Richmond has received from BCLC as their share of gaming revenue generated by River Rock, and how it has been reinvested in important capital projects in the City like the Richmond Olympic Oval and Minoru Seniors’ Centre,  while MLA for Richmond South Centre, Henry Yao provided congratulatory greetings on behalf of the Province.

A highlight of the event was a charitable cheque presentation to Natalie Meixner, President & CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation by Wayne Odegard, General Manager of River Rock Casino Resort. In a special twist, Odegard offered to double the donation if a lucky roll of oversize, inflatable dice resulted in a seven or higher. Meixner did indeed hit the mark, and “won” $20,000 for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

The event concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting, where Anfinson, Doyle, and Odegard lit sparklers to celebrate the milestone anniversary while fittingly, Huey Lewis’ anthem, “The Power of Love” played nostalgically.

Earlier this year, as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration, River Rock proudly announced a series of significant upgrades which are anticipated to be completed throughout the year, aimed at enhancing the guest experience for decades to come.

Highlights include:

  • Gordon Ramsay Steak will occupy a new space in the main atrium and feature indoor and outdoor dining.
  • KOI, the latest culinary venture from celebrated restaurateur Michael Zhang, will open later this year, offering a modern and elegant fusion dining experience.
  • The Jade Room will see an expansion with new slot machines, elevating the gaming options available to guests.
  • The resort’s floor layout will be refreshed for better navigation and accessibility.
  • A new Privé Lounge will be added, with a dedicated bar on the gaming floor.
  • River Rock’s conference facilities will also be expanded, providing more space for meetings, events, and gatherings.
  • The on-site marina will be dredged to reactivate the 130-slip marina fully.
  • The resort’s buffet has been renovated to include à la carte offerings with panoramic views of the mountains and marina.
  • New technical upgrades that will enhance the audience’s experience in the theatre.

“We’re incredibly excited to introduce these enhancements at River Rock Casino Resort,” said Wayne Odegard, Regional Vice President, River Rock Casino Resort. “As a pioneer in gaming and hospitality in the market, and one of the very few entertainment resorts in British Columbia, we have always been proud of our resort and its robust amenities. These dynamic upgrades will not only provide our discerning guests with expanded choices but allow our special brand of hospitality to shine even brighter.”

The upgrades are scheduled to be completed throughout the year. For more information or to book your stay, visit www.riverrock.com.

About River Rock Casino Resort

River Rock Casino Resort offers a perfect blend of entertainment, gaming, and relaxation along the scenic Fraser River. With thrilling casino action featuring 1,150 slots and e-tables, over 80 live table games, live racebook, poker room, nearly 400 hotel rooms, and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, endless entertainment possibilities await at Western Canada’s favourite Four-Diamond Casino Resort.

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