Soloviev Group installs 17,000 lights in New York as part of casino license bid

November 2, 2023

17,000 flowerlike stem lights were installed along New York's East River as the Soloviev Group stakes its claim to a possible upcoming New York City casino.

British artist Bruce Munro will collaborate with Soloviev Group to create a collection of illuminated stems (pictured) in a vacant New York lot that is set to become one of three New York City casinos. These will be the first three licensed casinos in the city, which has resulted in a rush of operators and property developers showing the public and the city why they should be the ones to receive one of these limited licenses. 

License bids have been priced at $500m, and have resulted in moves from operators that are political, economic and notably eye-catching. Aside from Soloviev Group's offering, there was also a street party thrown by Caesars, sponsorship of children's sports from Las Vegas Sands and a promise of buses by Bally's, emphasizing just how fierce the early competition for these limited licenses is.  

The East River illuminated display is set to open for the public on December 15, providing an interactive experience. The property, owned by the Soloviev Group, is one of Manhattan's largest undeveloped pieces of land, and if granted the casino license, will become part of Soloviev Group's planned Freedom Plaza. According to CEO Michael Hershman, the location is “shovel-ready, if you will. We can begin building as soon as we’re awarded the license.” 

Continuing from his interview with Gaming America, Hershman said,  

“We have right now approved zoning to build 2.8 million square feet of space. We would dedicate part of that space to the casino hotel. About four acres would be dedicated to a park for use by the community. We would also build a museum that would be dedicated to the promotion of democracy, freedom of the press, human rights and freedom of religion.”   

The display has been designed with the intention of creating and expressing togetherness, harmony and a place of peace, which reflects the intention of the Freedom Plaza to be a location of free expression and escapism. Upon opening, the installation will be able to be visited via bookings on Thursday – Saturday, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Admission is free, and will also be open on holidays including Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.  


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