Issue 267
October 24 - October 30, 2005
Volume 5
page 2

Boardwalk runs out
As reported by The Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS - The suspense is over for employees of the Boardwalk on the Strip, who have learned that the hotel will close Jan. 9.

On Friday, parent company MGM Mirage mailed letters to the Boardwalk's 749 employees, informing them that they will lose their jobs Jan. 9, but will be allowed to apply for open jobs at other company properties.

MGM Mirage will begin tearing down the 654-room property, which will be leveled to make way for the planned CityCenter, a $5 billion hotel and condominium complex expected to open by the end of 2009.

The Coney Island-themed Boardwalk will not be imploded; it will be demolished piece by piece in a process expected to take up to five months.

MGM Mirage, Nevada's biggest employer and taxpayer, sent the letter to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a law requiring companies with 100 or more employees to give 60 days' advance notice for a plant closing or mass layoff.

Boardwalk workers also were told in the letter that the company will try to help them find other jobs within the company.

Employees who move to another MGM Mirage property will retain their seniority and benefits, but will be required to meet all of the company's typical requirements for new hires, including passing a drug test.

Starting today the Boardwalk will open an employment center for workers, allowing them to apply for jobs within the company. MGM Mirage also will host an internal job fair for Boardwalk workers Nov. 16.

Boardwalk President Forrest Woodward, a 10-year veteran at the property, said he is optimistic that employees will not only find jobs but that qualified workers will find better positions at other properties.

MGM Mirage has instituted a hiring freeze at some of its hotels in preparation for absorbing jobs lost at the Boardwalk, Woodward said.

"Absorbing 750 people when you've got 70,000 employees isn't going to be a problem," he said. "They are doing yeoman's work at MGM Mirage to make that happen," he said.

For now, some Boardwalk workers have their doubts.

Bartender Ricardo, who didn't give his last name, said he's expecting a difficult transition.

Bartender and server positions on the Strip are very competitive and have been harder to come by than other positions, such as dealing, he said.

Boardwalk workers also can't rely on a union to ensure that they find jobs elsewhere, he said.

Unlike MGM Mirage's other resorts on the Strip, the Boardwalk isn't represented by the Culinary Union.

"I may not lose seniority, but I may lose the privilege of being behind the bar," Ricardo said.

Michael Pira, owner of Par-A-Dice Scooter Rentals inside the Boardwalk, said he is one of many third-party vendors notified to vacate the property in the next several weeks.

Pira, who moved from Chicago a year ago to get into the scooter business in Las Vegas, said the closure comes at an unfortunate time and is sooner than he expected.

"There's a very homey atmosphere here, and the access in and out of the property is very easy," he said. "They've been good to me. Everything about it was perfect."

Pira said he has so far had no luck finding a comparable location on the Strip to attract passers-by.

"I've made a big investment in this," he said. "I want to make it work."

Nevada Partners, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit group, says it is ready to help train Boardwalk workers for jobs at other hotels. The agency works with the Culinary Training Academy, which provides job training for nonunion workers for a fee.

Nevada Partners and Culinary Training Academy Executive Vice President Pam Egan said Boardwalk workers can apply for scholarships and receive means to offset the tuition.

MGM Mirage spokesman Gordon Absher said the company doesn't have a great need for outside services because it intends to help place employees within the company using internal job placement efforts.

"We've got 10 other resorts, and we believe we'll be able to help those folks within the same family," he said.

The Boardwalk has been the subject of many redevelopment rumors over the years.
Steve Wynn's Mirage Resorts bought the Boardwalk in 1998 as part of a $144 million deal. Since then, employees have operated under a cloud of uncertainty, knowing that Wynn or his successor would someday redevelop the building, Woodward said.

MGM Grand picked up the 66-acre Boardwalk site when it acquired Mirage Resorts in 2000. MGM Mirage initially envisioned developing some sort of Generation X-themed resort at the site. Instead the company hired an urban planning firm to help devise the concept for CityCenter, announced last year.

The company has already begun work building a parking garage behind the Boardwalk that will be used by employees at the nearby Bellagio, who now use surface parking.
Demolition of other businesses along the Strip on the CityCenter site will begin in mid-November. They include the Seven nightclub, a T-shirt shop and a helicopter tour operator.





Check n Raise moves to "The Ongame Network" (formerly The Poker Network) to Improve Player Experience

Press Release

TORONTO, Canada - Check n Raise is pleased to announce their move to The Ongame Network in order to improve the game experience for their more than 35,000 registered players.

Players will now have a choice of table limits for ring games ranging from .05/.10 all the way up to 500/1000 and a hundred different tournaments every day. Check n Raise players will now be able to find the game of their choice at any given time due to the established base of six million poker players.

Check n Raise players will also now have the option to choose either a download version for Windows PC or a web-based Java version of the software for Mac, PC and Linux users. Poker players can now play from anywhere, anytime even from secure environments where they can't install their own software. Only a web browser is required to play the Java version.

Check n Raise Poker has put together a very exciting marketing plan with fabulous promotions and incentives as they promise to stand by their commitment of giving back to their players more than any other site. They are starting things off by offering a very generous 100% deposit bonus up to $600 for all first deposits from October 19 to November 30. All existing and new players are eligible.

"We are very excited about moving to the Ongame Network," says Bill Kertes, CEO of Check n Raise "We feel that a solid, reliable software platform will allow us to do what we do great - that is create compelling player promotions! Poker players everywhere will find many reasons to play on Check n Raise Poker's site, as we will take great care of them by rewarding their play."

"We are going to have the most generous loyalty program of any poker site," says Erez Savion, Director of Customer Loyalty. "We take pride in our integrity and assure our players that we have the highest level of security available. Since our players are our first priority we will give them First Class Service, second to none. Our selection of games are unparalleled and our players will find a larger variety of tournaments with bigger guaranteed prize pools."

Dixon answers questions about track
As reported by the Times Herald

DIXON, California - City officials have released responses to more than 100 public queries regarding a proposed horse racing and entertainment complex.

The facility, proposed by Magna Entertainment Corp., would occupy 260 acres in northeast Dixon. The racetrack and entertainment pavilion eventually would be joined by shopping and office facilities.

The questions and responses run the gamut - from why horse manure doesn't smell as bad as cow manure to how gambling will affect residents.

Most of the questions came from an anti-racetrack group called Dixon Citizens for Quality Growth. "I'm glad they've done an apparently comprehensive job answering questions," said group leader Gail Preston, who had not read the responses yet.
"I am personally glad we've completed the responses," City Manager Warren Salmons added. "In terms of timeliness, it's certainly within the timeframe of the mountains of information to look at. It's obviously long before a decision is made."

The City Council and Planning Commission are scheduled to hold back-to-back joint meetings to discuss the project early next month, and commissioners will review the draft environmental impact report at the end of November.

Depending on the question, answers came from city staff, racetrack developer Magna Entertainment Corp. or city-hired consultants.

In the case of the manure question, for example, the report includes an extensive scientific explanation of the composition of cow and horse manure, provided by EIP Associates, the EIR consultants.

Each individual writer will receive a direct response to his or her questions by mail or e-mail, Salmons added.
The packet of all the responses is available at City Hall or online at

In a related matter, a general plan amendment concerning traffic levels is scheduled for discussion by the city's Transportation Advisory Commission at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 600 East A St.

The amendment, which could help ease one of the approvals necessary for the horse-racing complex, would change the general plan to allow for heavier traffic throughout Dixon, particularly downtown. It would allow the City Council to waive existing traffic standards.

"The question being asked is, where do we find balance in accommodating people who want to drive and other things we want to accomplish?" Salmons said. "Like being pedestrian-friendly and not having to blast away buildings so a driver can spend five seconds less at an intersection."

A recent environmental impact report on Magna's proposed Dixon Downs racetrack and entertainment facility found that the project would generate traffic outside the level currently authorized in the general plan.

"This is not being done for Dixon Downs. This is being done because the community really needs to talk about levels of service and whether we want to create and maintain the roadways needed to keep the (current) levels," Salmons said.
However, the proposed amendment would have an effect on both Dixon Downs and the Southwest housing development, Salmons said.

The Commodores

MGM Grand: The Commodores entertain fans November 10-16 at the MGM Grand..

Date: November 10-16.

Time: November 10, 11, 13-16 9pm; November 12 8pm & 10:30pm

Ticket Price: $68 + tax and handling

For more information: 1-877-880-0880

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