Issue 117
December 9-15, 2002
Volume 3
page 1
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Gaming News
$90 Million New Spa Resort Casino Breaks Ground

Harrah's Renovating, Expanding Properties

Online Bingo: The Next Big Thing in Internet Gaming?

Littlefield Opens New Bilingual Bingo Hall in South Carolina

Frank Scoblete to Give Free Craps Seminar

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$90 Million New
Spa Resort Casino Breaks Ground

PALM SPRINGS, CA - The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians broke ground Dec. 6 on an ambitious $90 million new casino project. The new Spa Resort Casino, located in the heart of Palm Springs, will cover an entire city block and is expected to spark further revitalization in the downtown area. Completion of the project is targeted for November 2003, and will replace the existing Spa Casino operation.

Joining Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich in the groundbreaking ceremony were Vice-Chairman Barbara Gonzales Lyons, Secretary/Treasurer Moraino J. Patencio, Council Member Candace C. Patencio and Council Member Jeannette Prieto-Dodd.

"This is a grand day in the history of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and of Palm Springs," Milanovich said. "This ambitious casino project will make Palm Springs California's premiere casino destination."

The new Spa Resort Casino will be located northeast and diagonally across from the existing property and will encompass an entire city block, bordered by Amado Road on the north, El Segundo on the east, Andreas Road on the south and Calle Encilia on the west. The site is approximately a quarter mile from the Palm Springs Convention Center and Indian Canyon Drive.

World-class architects Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo and designers Dougall Design each sport impressive client lists in the United States and abroad. The casino's exteriors and interiors will reflect a style of

casual elegance. The casino's cream-colored stucco walls will rise from the surrounding lush landscaping and trelliswork. The unique roof is a configuration of turrets, topped by varying shades of blue concrete tile, bringing to mind the Tribe's historical association with the area's waters. Marble and rich woods will adorn the casino's interiors.

In the new casino, players will find all their favorite games, including approximately 1,000 of the latest slots and video poker machines and more than 40 table games. An elegant high-limit area, the Salon Prive, will cater to guests who prefer a more private gaming setting. A player's club will offer incentives for frequent players.

The new Spa Resort Casino will feature three restaurants, including a 300-seat buffet, a casually elegant restaurant with exterior dining terraces and a sports bar serving light meals and beverages in a sports-theme environment. The property will also include a 150-seat lounge with evening entertainment and a central bar on the casino floor.

Ample parking at the casino includes 1,303 spaces, including regular and handicapped-accessible spaces. An additional parking lot will be conveniently located across Amado Road. Luxury shuttles will transport guests to and from the casino and the hotel.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has a longstanding tradition of major activity and visibility in the Coachella Valley. The Tribe set an historic precedent by becoming the first Native American Tribe to own and operate two gaming facilities in California, when it opened the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage in April 2001.

Harrah's Renovating, Expanding Properties

LAS VEGAS - Harrah's Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel in Iowa is planning $8.4 million in renovations at its hotel, including a new marble entryway and new decor in the lobby. The renovations are scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2003.

"We plan to upgrade all aspects of the hotel's public areas, guest rooms and suites," said Peter Weien, senior vice president and general manager. Guest rooms will get new furniture, fixtures and 32-inch TVs.

The upgrades further Harrah's premier room concept. "We will continue to improve our world-class service and provide the best hotel product in the Council Bluffs-Omaha market," said Robert Brigham, director of hotel operations for Harrah's.

Separately, Harrah's in October announced plans for a $75 million expansion in Maryland Heights, MO, in the St. Louis market.

Vern Jennings, the general manager of Harrah's St. Louis Hotel & Casino, told the Maryland Heights City Council in November that Harrah's hopes to build a 16- story tower next to its current hotel and casino. The plan calls for a 309-room hotel tower, including two 1,300-square-foot super suites, complete with 12-foot ceilings, a Jacuzzi and other amenities; plus 19 other suites that would be 900 square feet and 288 standard rooms that would be 40 percent larger than rooms in the current Harrah's hotel in Maryland Heights.

Jennings said that Harrah's also hoped to build a 2,500-square-foot exercise center and redesign the hotel lobby's entrance, featuring 20-foot high ceilings, a granite floor and chandelier. "We want this to look just like some of the finest hotels that you see in Las Vegas," Jennings said, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

To accommodate large weekend crowds, Harrah's St. Louis plans to add an additional 85 seats to the steakhouse at the casino complex and double eating capacity at Club Aromas, a popular coffeehouse, the newspaper reported.

Jennings said that Harrah's already had invested $350 million in the Maryland Heights complex. "I'm excited about this," Mayor Mike Mueller said, the Post-Dispatch reported. "Harrah's has been a good business partner for the city."

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