By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)–Developers are ready to build a new hotel on the North Shore.

The Rivers Casino broke ground this morning. The casino hopes the hotel will be a key to making The Rivers a year-round destination on the North Shore.

Since the slot machines started singing on the North Shore 10 years ago, the plan has always been to add a hotel to the Rivers Casino.

Today that leapt from concept to reality.

“I hope to have this up and running by early 2012,” Rivers Casino and Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin said.

“This will be a $60 million 219 room four-star hotel. I stay at all the hotels on the North Shore and they’re nice, but this is going to be the nicest hotel on the North Shore and it’s going to be a great addition to the Pittsburgh skyline.”

While the hotel will be tied into the casino on a couple of levels, it will cater to more than casino guests.

Carlin expects to see plenty of Steelers, Pirates and Penguins fans, “people coming from out of town to make an event of coming here for one of those things, or just coming here to visit this property, plus when you add in the type of entertainment we’re doing, it truly makes this a destination now.”

For Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, the hotel is the next step in the reimagined North Shore.

“We’ll see a continuation in the finalization of all the development between the two stadiums,” he said.

If everything goes as planned, the hotel will be up and running by 2021.