Issue 150
July 28 - August 3, 2003
Volume 3
page 1
 

This Issue

Gaming News
Mandalay to Open Mall

"Lights of Freedom" Kicks Off in Skies Above Atlantic City Boardwalk

Macau Magnate Challenged by Vegas Developers

Mississippi Hard Rock Hotel-Casino Approved

Isle Set to Celebrate 11th Anniversary

Maryland Considers Slots


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Mandalay to Open Mall

LAS VEGAS - Mandalay Resort Group has signed leases with many of the 40 or so boutique retailers and restaurants set to open this fall in the skyway mall linking the company's Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos, a newspaper reported on July 25.

Over the next month or so, the company expects to reveal the names of the retailers, which will occupy an overhead walkway of about 100,000 square feet, Mandalay Bay spokesman Gordon Absher told In Business Las Vegas, a weekly newspaper that is a sister publication of the Las Vegas Sun.

The mall will be the second to open in Las Vegas this year. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets, a 435,000-square-foot outlet mall, opens downtown August 7.

Mandalay Resort Group has so far been tight-lipped about upcoming retailers. The company is developing the project itself rather than partnering with a retail developer. It is expected to cost from $30 million to $40 million.

The retail tenants will be boutique stores that are either unique or among a handful of similar shops worldwide, Absher said, declining to name them. "You are not going to find these retailers in other malls," he told In Business. "This is a collection of retailers different from anything in Las Vegas."

The company's 1,122-room second tower at Mandalay Bay is expected to open in November. The room tower and the mall, though both slated to debut in fall, aren't expected to open at the same time, Absher said.

The timing of the mall indicates that the retail and economic


The Mandalay Bay is a deluxe, tropically themed luxury resort with mystical architecture and lush surroundings. The resort is set on 60 acres south of Luxor on the Strip.

outlook for Las Vegas is on the rise again, real estate executives told In Business.

The retail addition is a "natural progression" for Mandalay Resort Group as well as for the evolving retail mix in Las Vegas, C.B. Richard Ellis resort broker Carlton Geer said.

"Retail and hotel revenues have been increasing at a rate greater than gaming revenues for a number of years," Geer said. "Las Vegas has been able to transform itself into a retail destination as well as a gaming destination. Retail is very important to the overall retail mix of what tourists are looking for in Las Vegas."

The mall will be called Mandalay Place.


"Lights of Freedom" Kicks Off in Skies Above
Atlantic City Boardwalk

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort kicked off the eight-day run of "Lights of Freedom," its spectacular laser, pyrotechnics and music show created and produced by world renowned German light-artist Gert Hof on July 26. The event is presented in the skies above Atlantic City's famed boardwalk twice nightly -- at 9 and 11 p.m. -- through August 2. Each show will feature brilliant light effects and a rousing soundtrack of Bruce Springsteen hits.

The stunning climax of "Lights of Freedom" is the projection, into the seaside sky, of the world's largest American flag. This monumental flag display is musically accompanied by the classic Springsteen anthem Born in the USA.

"It was absolutely incredible; the sky above the city was actually transformed into a flashing, moving work of art," explains Steve Gietka, vice president for entertainment, Trump Casino Resorts. "Nothing like this has ever been seen before anywhere in the United States. With 'Lights of Freedom,' The Trump Taj Mahal has made entertainment history."

Underscoring the significance of the production -- which, by August 2, is expected to be seen by a total of more than 2 million people -- a large stretch of the Atlantic City boardwalk went dark while the initial show was in progress. This was the first time since World War II that the boardwalk's lights were extinguished.

"Lights of Freedom" is Hof's American debut. He had previously dazzled audiences with productions at locales including the Acropolis in Athens, the banks of the Danube River in Budapest, and Beijing, where with his millennium celebration event he became the first foreigner ever to direct a Chinese ceremony of state. The Reuters news agency described Hof's January 1, 2001 "Asian Millennium Event" in China -- which was viewed by a live audience exceeding 4 million -- as an artistic "world experience."

The ideal viewing angle for "Lights of Freedom" is from along the south side of the boardwalk. Spectators will be treated to a breathtaking palette of dancing, swirling light, generated by a meticulously choreographed battery of more than one hundred 7,000-watt spotlights positioned atop the Trump Taj Mahal.

One of the world's largest casinos -- covering 17 full acres along the Atlantic City boardwalk and rising more than 420 feet above the shore -- the Trump Taj Mahal was opened by Donald Trump in 1990. Representing a $1 billion investment, and featuring 1,250 guest rooms, including 237 suites, 22 ballrooms and meeting rooms, and an arena that can seat over 5,000, the Taj Mahal offers opulence in the grand tradition of the world's most exquisite palaces.

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