by Alex Lloyd Gross
February 10, 2022
It’s been a little more than one year since city leaders, joined Ron Jaworski, Dr J , and members of the Cordish Company to cut the ribbon on their brand new LIVE Casino on Darien Street, just a stones throw from the sports complex. Just about everything the casino ownership envisioned that cold winter night has come to fruition. The business has partnered with all of the sports teams and they have a sports book in case you are feeling over confident about your team and want to wager some money.
In the middle of the afternoon, a Chinese Lions Dance came through the casino, along with the South Philadelphia String Band. They all made their way to the center of the casino for a celebration of being open one full year. “It’s been challenging”, said Cordish gaming executive Jon Cordish. he was referring to getting his building constructed during a pandemic and sweeping restrictions that have caused many businesses to close, made by government officials.
Still, the casino managed to make money and provide jobs. and put $325 million into the state and local economies. As the business opened, they had to endure a labor shortage. While some places around the casino employ workers for $8.00 because they can, LIVE starts workers at around $12-$15/hr.
During the speeches that were made, people were waiting to see what Jon Dorenbos would say. The former Eagles Long Snapper, ( and professional magician) came out, turned a few single dollar bills into $100,s and then lit a sparkler candle on a cake made by Termini Brothers Bakery. Confetti fell from the ceiling as executives clapped and accepted a proclamation from the city.
Dorenbos , has a great attitude and outlook on life. “I almost died, i like life, we go around one time and I want to make the most of it,” he said. Having spent time in an orphanage, after his parents died, he never envisioned himself as a pro football player. He kept at it and excelled. He did the same with his magic.
As for the Eagles and football, he said “Do I think the Eagles can take the Superbowl, absolutely , it’s about the team and how the team plays with each other, they have a great shot, every team has a great shot, they just have to work together, It’s how the team works together, he said. Dorenbos does a lot of motivational talks and companies hire him to do that. He will attend trade shows across the country and speak to people, and incorporate his magic into the talk. It works very well.
One of his traits is he is approachable. It is a HUGE turnoff to Dorenbos when he hears about athletes that don’t sign unless they are paid. .”I never charge, I think it’s distasteful and I always want to sign for people for free, ” Dorenbos said. He was the first act to do a show at the Event Center at LIVE. After the show he signed autographs and posed for free photos.