Issue 207
August 30 - September 5, 2004
Volume 4
page 2

Tribe, investment group seek to build giant casino near Gilroy, Calif.
As reported by The Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

California -- A small Indian tribe from the Central Valley and a San Jose-based investment group is pitching a giant casino resort south of Gilroy, hoping to exploit a 250-mile long corridor along California's central coast where they would face no competition.

The investors and their attorneys have met in recent weeks with several San Benito and Santa Clara County supervisors and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's top Indian gaming negotiator in an effort to build support among decision-makers before going public with their plans.

They have not said how big a facility they plan to build, but suggested it would be "competitive" with the 2,000-slot machine casinos that have become typical in the state. They also want to build a 200- to 300-room hotel, an entertainment complex and other recreational facilities.

To move forward, the tribe would have to get the approval of the governor, who has indicated he would grant it only with wide local support for the casino. The tribe also may have to resolved an ongoing dispute over control within its ranks.

The casino promoters said they have not yet optioned any land for the development, but are looking at several locations along the Highway 25 corridor on both sides of the Santa Clara/San Benito County line.

Led by Kirk Rossmann, 57, a former San Jose businessman now living in Incline Village, Nev., the investors otherwise have not been identified. Rossmann, who formed a corporation called Game Won, LLC, in March to control the development, said he would reveal their identities after receiving permission to do so.

Rossmann, a director of Heritage Commerce Corp whose family had owned American Welding Supply, a San Jose supplier of industrial gas, said the casino would provide between 1,500 and 3,000 new jobs to the community and he views it as the best economic-development opportunity available for the region.

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Santa Clara or San Benito counties that would have the rights to build a casino under federal law and Proposition 1A, which California voters approved four years ago to allow Indian casinos. But the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows landless tribes to find a location for a casino outside their historic tribal territory if they receive the consent of the governor.

Representatives of the tribe and the investment group have met twice with Peter Siggins, Schwarzenegger's legal affairs secretary and negotiator on tribal compacts.




Ellis Island submits plans for
36-story condo-hotel
As reported by The Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- An off-Strip locals casino known for $4.95 steak dinner deals has big plans to go upscale.

A few weeks after scuttling plans to take over management of the nearby Tuscany casino, the Ellis Island Casino & Brewery has submitted plans with the county to build a 36-story condo-hotel tower with about 800 rooms.

The project would be built on the Ellis Island site at 4180 Koval Lane near Flamingo Road as well as the adjacent Super 8 Motel site at 4250 Koval Lane. The Ellis Island sits on about 1.7 acres and the contiguous Super 8 property, with about 290 rooms, sits on about 2.5 acres. It's not clear whether the existing properties would be torn down or whether the buildings would be remodeled and expanded.

Hilton bets on casino resorts as hotels lead profit leap
As reported by The Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Hotels and betting chain giant Hilton wants to open huge "resort casinos" in Brighton and Blackpool, writes James Rossiter.

Chief executive David Michels singled out the towns as the preferred targets for creating a "small Las Vegas or mini Atlantic City", depending on the outcome of a proposed deregulation in Britain's gambling laws.

Four years ago, Hilton sold its 27 small UK casinos to bingo operator Gala for UKpound 235 million.

"What we are not doing is moving back into provincial casinos. We are talking a minimum of 1250 slot machines, using our twin Ladbrokes and Hilton brand for lots of hotel rooms, restaurants and 'real' entertainment -- dance and live cabaret."

Michels outlined his ambitions as he delivered a 72 percent increase in half-year pre-tax profits to UKpound 190 million, UKpound 9 million above market expectations, driven by a turnaround in the fortunes of its hotels coupled with surging profits at its Ladbroke betting arm.

London hotels led the way with a 17.2 percent increase in revpar for the six months to end-June compared with a year ago. Ther global rise was 9.2 percent. Hotel profits grew 19 percent to UKpound 67.1 million.

A new hotels chief will be announced by the end of this year. The post has been vacant for 18 months since the sudden death of Anthony Harris.

Hilary Duff

MGM Grand: Hilary Duff, young film phenomenon and Walt Disney Records recording artist, performs at the MGM Grand.

Date: September 3, 2004

Price: $47.77

Time: 8:00pm


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