By George Solis

HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — Live! Hotel officially opened its door Wednesday night, and officials say the hotel is also giving back to the community.

With a dazzling fireworks display, the tallest building in Anne Arundel County officially celebrated its grand opening.

The 17-story marvel — which also has a spa, salon and 24-hour restaurant — rests right next to the Live! Casino in Hanover.

It’s the first hotel in the world to carry the Live! brand and the only one to have a private gaming area in Maryland.

State leaders said they’re excited, and for good reason.

“They will be collecting hotel taxes, which is always good for the state. But it brings more people, it’s going to bring more people into this area,” Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said.

The grand opening Wednesday night certainly drew a crowd, from private tours of lavish suites with all the trimmings to celebrity guests.

NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Irving made an appearance, among other famous athletes.

There was also a jaw-dropping performance by vertical dance troupe Bandaloop.

But it’s not all just high-roller thrills. There’s one aspect of the hotel that makes the owner particularly proud: the 4,000-seat state-of-the-art event center.

“You keep reinvesting and that’s how you show your appreciation to your customers and their loyalty and they’ll show it back to you,” said David Cornish of the Cordish companies.

The event center is a venue for more than just the company big show, but a place for local events like community graduations.

“It’s what the people deserve. It’s what our customers deserve,” Cordish said.

The hotel will also soon feature 2,000 additional free parking spaces.

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