Issue 211
September 27 - October 3, 2004
Volume 4
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Founder of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino plans a $1 Billion development

Harrah's Entertainment Ranked No. 15 in InformationWeek 500

Slots considered for steel works

VIP Casino Wins Strictly Slots 'Best Player Reward' Award

Packer planning Scottish casinos


Show Time Bette Midler, winner of four Grammy Awards, performs at the MGM Grand.

Column Texas Hold'em Is a "High Card" Game By Fred Renzey

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners


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Founder of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino plans a $1 Billion development

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Peter Morton, chairman and founder of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, today announced plans to build a $1 billion, 1.5 million square-foot hotel/condominium project on the 24 acres adjacent to his Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

When combined with the current Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the two properties will cover a total of 41 acres. Mr. Morton recently acquired the 24-acre parcel for $86 million.

"This new project will be unlike anything ever seen in Las Vegas," he said. "It is being designed by world-renowned architects Richard Meier and Michael Palladino of the Richard Meier firm. It will have elegant, unique finishes both inside and out.

"We have designed this project to be a mixed-use, master-planned development," Mr. Morton continued. "Current plans call for it to be comprised of four buildings and at least 1,500 hotel condominium units. It will include a collection of unique restaurants and nightclubs, a number of world-class retailers, a state of the art health club and spa and a variety of other recreational facilities."

Mr. Morton said that he is meeting with restaurateurs and retailers from around the world for this project, which would incorporate the same excitement and innovative features that have made the Hard Rock one of Las Vegas' most popular destinations.

"Over the years, patrons have come up to me and told me how much they enjoy the Hard Rock experience," he said. "What we are doing here is giving people a chance to own a little piece of the Hard Rock. Owners of the new hotel/condominiums will have complete VIP access to all Hard Rock facilities. They will have a chance to not only live the Hard Rock experience, but to own a piece of it, as well.

"When the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opened some nine years ago, I recognized that twenty and thirty-year olds were an untapped market in Las Vegas," Mr. Morton said. "By creating an environment that was geared to that market, we have not only been able to attract this important demographic, but, people from all age groups who were looking for the same kind of excitement and experience.

"The Hard Rock is already known for such renowned restaurants as Nobu and such sought-after acts as Velvet Revolver, the Rolling Stones and Norah Jones," he said. "Our new project will allow us to give our patrons even more."

Mr. Morton said that preliminary plans call for condominium units to range in size from studio apartments, to one and two bedroom units to 6,000 square foot penthouses. He said that poolside Bungalows and Villas are being planned, as well.

"The Hard Rock and the audience and guests it attracts are the trendsetters in any city," he continued. "Keeping our audience and guests stimulated, particularly in what has become America's fastest growing city -- a city that attracts guests from all over the world -- is a very exciting challenge. I've always loved that part of what I do."

Construction is expected to begin on the Hard Rock's hotel/condominium project next year. The first phase of the development is expected to be completed approximately one year from the start of construction.

Harrah's Entertainment Ranked No. 15 in InformationWeek 500

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. was ranked No. 15 in CMP Media LLC's InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation's most innovative users of information technology.

Harrah's was the top-ranked company in the media and entertainment category, and was the only gaming company included in the top 100. It also outranked all other hospitality and travel companies on the list. Harrah's, which ranked No. 259 in last year's list, has been included in the InformationWeek 500 for six consecutive years.

"The top 100 companies are distinguished by crisp and efficient strategies that cut costs and optimize productivity," InformationWeek wrote. "These businesses have raised the bar on corporate governance and made a science out of measuring return on investment and the value of business-technology projects."

"IT innovation has long been a cornerstone of our company's success," said Tim Stanley, Harrah's senior vice president and chief information officer. "Our groundbreaking use of customer-relationship management technology has helped us build unrivaled customer loyalty, resulting in steady revenue and same-store sales growth year after year. Our outstanding performance in this year's InformationWeek 500 demonstrates yet again that smart IT investments are paying off for our shareholders."

To compile the list of "leading U.S. business technology innovators," InformationWeek gathered in-depth information from companies about how they approach and prioritize IT investments. Companies were named to the list and ranked following an extensive online and phone study.

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