CLEVELAND (AP) -- Tourism boosters hoping to maximize $2 billion in new attractions, including Ohio's first casino, kicked off a five-year campaign Tuesday to spruce up Cleveland and make it more visitor-friendly.
"This is a pivotal time in our community," said Len Komoroski, president of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers and chairman of the Positively Cleveland travel-tourism agency.
Agency leaders outlined a series of initiatives, including making it easier for visitors to navigate the city and adding trolley service linking the casino to hotels and lakefront attractions.
David Gilbert, president of Positively Cleveland, said making the mid-May opening of the Horseshoe casino a positive experience is a priority.
Signs directing visitors to the casino will be installed by the opening date, Gilbert told travel planners from the region's tourism industry.
Plans also were outlined for improving the look of downtown park spaces, including the casino's front door on Public Square.
"We're trying to make it as accommodating as possible," said Tony Coyne, chair of the Cleveland City Planning Commission.
Tour planners will promote cruise-style all-in-one package deals including air fare, hotels and attractions. The casino has signed off on the idea and will encourage visitors at area attractions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to sample the casino.
The first phase of the $350 million casino will open in the renovated Higbee department store. Toledo's casino opens several weeks later, with those in Cincinnati and Columbus to follow.
Other new attractions highlighted by the tourism agency in Cleveland include a convention center, medical trade show exhibition hall, an expanded art museum and aquarium.