“In the poker room we’ve added a robust audio/visual package in the region of a dozen television screens,” says Darling. “We’ve added a better entrance reception area.” This is all to keep Casino Brantford, which opened in 1999 and has been visited by patrons 16 million times, a popular Ontario gaming destination. The casino is about a half-hour drive from Hamilton, and an hour from Toronto.
Part of this extensive renovation has been to update Casino Brantford’s interior decoration. “In the new poker room we’ve gone with a more natural look, a more natural finish,” says Darling. “Stone, wood, softer tones, that’s the look throughout the whole Casino.”
This more natural look is a cosmetic component of the renovation’s green design aspirations. Casino operators are looking to achieve a silver certification under the Canada Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The program has gained worldwide acceptance as a standard for sustainable building design. Behind the scenes of its design and service-oriented upgrades, Casino Brantford is installing Energy Star appliances to improve energy efficiency. It is updating plumbing fixtures to lower water consumption. Construction crews are using locally and regionally sourced materials with a high-recycled content for the renovation. And Casino Brantford recently switched its electricity provider to Bullfrog Power, a company that provides renewable energy created through wind and low-impact water power generation rather than traditional sources such as coal.
This design approach seeks to improve customer satisfaction and sustainability at the same time, all while creating local economic stimulus through job creation. It is part of a wider OLG movement towards lowering gaming’s carbon footprint. Casino Sault Ste. Marie, Mohawk Racetrack, Hanover Raceway and other OLG facilities have also recently moved to green electricity. Meanwhile, Darling is excited about the renovation. He is trying to minimize disruption to service as new phases of the renovation come online. “We’ve been going about a year, and we have about a year to go,” he says.
By Sam White, writer