But poor planning (most of which was predicted by the Jamul community), a lack of parking, and inexperienced staff all added up to a major egg delivered by JIV and PENN.
The grand opening was scheduled for 2:00 pm but by 10:30 the underground parking structure was filled to capacity. There was no law enforcement to help direct drivers until the situation has escalated beyond repair: cars lined both sides of SR-94, and at one point more than 40 cars blocked the exit to the Jamul Fire Station. CalFire later issued a statement that they had "pre-planned" the day with other agencies, but that was not evident to the many witnesses that watched an ambulance dangerously thread the middle of narrow 94 on its way to an injury accident in Campo. As it made its way slowly through the gridlock the question most heard was, "How will fire engines be able to get through?"
By noon traffic extended miles in both directions. By two o'clock, when parents attempted to get to the schools to pick up children, the wait was more than two hours. As the afternoon passed that wait extended to three and as much as four hours to get through the mess. It was worse than even the most pessimistic opponents had predicted.
Cars, unable to park at the facility, packed residential streets. Drinking, drugs, and littering were common. Residents were unable to use driveways, and there were many words between trapped homeowners and those using the roadways to hike the 1-2 miles to the #HollywoodHorrorCasino.
If gamblers were expecting a professional operation once they arrived, they were sadly disappointed. With eight stories of underground parking, there were only 4 elevators to move people up to the one-floor gaming machines/tables shared with the restaurants. Three of the elevators malfunctioned, one stranding a full load between floors. When management failed to respond to the emergency button, bystanders helped pry open the doors and assist the trapped group to safety.
To get an idea of just how many problems— exacerbated by a woefully inexperienced staff and management— visit the YELP website. Many of the most negative reviews have been removed after PENN complained. But there is no doubt. PENN has a BIG problem on its hands. And almost a half-billion $ in construction debt to unload.
- I expected long lines to park (never made it to garage) get a players card, etc. But the dealers had no clue what they were doing, I played blackjack and I could have done a better job at dealing and game etiquette. Bartenders we're clueless and unorganized.
- It's hard to believe these people couldn't get their act together when this casino was slated to open in August and they had all this time to be better organized... No buffet, no poker, no bingo, why go here?
- Good luck waiting for the elevators... might as well take the stairs... the stairs that is located on the other side of the casino ha!! We just wanted to leave and waited almost 30 mins for an elevator cuz all four were full of bodies squeezed in.
- Never coming back to Hollywood....
- Sorry Hollywood should have been more prepared for the grand opening considering this isn't the only casino you're sistered with.
- The system for retrieval of your money is the worst. Cash out your cash and then get your change out of another line??? Wth? Too time consuming.
- Traffic is backed up all the way to Sweetwater Springs on the 94. It's mayhem. Traffic is stopped for HOURS. I just saw an ambulance stuck in traffic. People are going to die because of this casino on its first day.
- The [Monday] parking lot is full. People are blocking intersections, parking illegally along the highway, making illegal u-turns across the highway, and turning onto Campo from the wrong lane...
- So incredibly unsafe and irresponsible for this casino to open with no plans to handle the traffic or provide enough parking.
- Getting there seems like it could be dangerous at night, it's on a narrow, rural, twisting road that is not well lit.
- Parking is limited. Some underground apparently, otherwise you park along the side of the road.
- ...Sure, they just opened, but there seems to be some fundamental limitations due to the small property they have.
- Worst customer service at this casino. The staff seemed so unorganized. No buffet to eat.
- Casino is average...nothing impressed me...valet is slow..lines everywhere..drinks are expensive and all I was drinking was beer...machines are tight... I will never come back...
- Negative 100 stars! What a c--p sandwich the Hollywood Casino is! It took me 2 hours to go 5 miles. 2 hours!!! I passed 2 stalled cars, 1 accident and an old man who got out of his car to pee on a tree in front of Jamul Hardware!
- Not sure this place will make it. Pretty small, no buffet, no cocktail service at the slot machines, pretty disorganized to be honest. Once was probably enough . This isn't Vegas, it isn't even Sycuan, or Harrah's ...kind of small potatoes if you ask me.
- Everything is wrong about this casino, from the location, to the pathetic customer service, to the food, to the traffic, to the disorganization.
- Absolutely not worth your time or money! The grand opening of a business is typically the best of the best and when a business really shines, although a few issues are to be expected. Nothing about yesterday reflected that this casino cares about anything more than their bottom line, and if things continue as is, they will be in the red sooner than they could imagine.
- No parking structure stairs. Either take the elevators which is a heavy wait to get in one, or walk the ramps. Not really impress with the place.
- This casino sucks! A set of elevators inside the casino for so many people, not good. Took us a long time to get from casino to parking structure. 2 elevators got stuck on a floor so limited elevator use. Not enough parking in structure, valet was full.
- My wife and I frequent Barona, Viejas, and Sycuan casinos regularly and enjoy local gaming... Naturally we decided to try Jamul's Hollywood casino and see what all the hype was about. Boy was it a let down... Expecting traffic was a given. What I didn't expect was the absolute unprofessional behavior exhibited by the Valet staff on the night of October 10th, 2016 around 7:30 PM.
- Going to this Casino was a waste of time. Slot machine credits are too high and the machines are sooooo tight. I don't mind losing but not so fast! Not going back!
- Gridlock, 2-hour traffic jam to get to the place, no parking, and no buffet. Why would you waste your time?
- The drive up hwy 94 is treacherous. The casino didn't even bother to finish road improvements before they opened. There is no way emergency vehicles can get through in traffic. The staff is rude and the building an eyesore in the beautiful rolling hills. I'll spend my dollars elsewhere.
- Very bad service, don't waste your money or time coming here. They don't care about helping you, so far the worst casino I been to in San Diego. All the machines are not working properly. Long lines. Also talked to a VP manager he could [not] even help me out....
- Must use elevators to get up from parking garage. It's so out of place for this rural community and, well if you've read other postings, you know the history and that this was forced on the community and forced out the few actual Indians who originally lived on this small, granted land parcel. Ancestoral remains were removed too (which is considered bad luck).