Issue 349
May 21 - May 27, 2007
Volume 7
page 2

Margaritaville Casino and Resort plans revealed
Press Release

BILOIX, Miss. – Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET), along with world-renowned singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett, today unveiled plans for a new Gulf Coast destination; Margaritaville Casino & Resort on the shores of Biloxi. The Margaritaville project is expected to cost more than $700 million, representing the single largest investment in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina. The company expects this to be the first phase of a development that may cost more than $1billion.

"I am privileged to announce Harrah's plans for Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi," said Gary Loveman, chairman, chief executive officer and president. "Along with Jimmy Buffett, we plan to develop the next generation destination resort on the Gulf Coast. This project of more than $700 million dollars is vital to supporting the rebirth of Mississippi's tourism industry."

"I have always considered myself a "Gulf Coast kid,"" said singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. "I was born there, grew up there and jumped on a stage for the first time there, before hitting the road. I have seen the world, traveled to distant shores, written a few songs and lived a few tall tales along the way, and now it is good to be coming back home."

"I have seen the best and the worst of times along Mississippi Sound, and as a survivor of storms myself, I feel an enormous sense of gratitude and good fortune to be part of the re-birth of the region by joining forces with Harrah's to bring the Margaritaville Casino & Resort "Down around Biloxi,"" continued Buffett. "One of the essential elements of life along the Gulf Coast is the Creole belief that hard work and good fun go hand in hand. So, with that in mind I say, "Let's get to work and let's let the good times roll again,"" he continued.

"Margaritaville Casino & Resort represents Harrah's ongoing commitment to, and vision for, Biloxi, the tourism industry in Mississippi, and the regeneration of the entire Gulf Coast," said Charles Atwood, vice chairman, Harrah's Entertainment. "This development will include many exciting and diverse dining, entertainment and retail experiences that will be unique to the Gulf Coast region. We are pleased that Simon Property Group, the largest retail real estate company in North America, will be partnering with us to deliver such a significant retail development to the Gulf Coast area."

"We're delighted to join Harrah's and Jimmy Buffett in today's announcement and bring a first-class retail center to complement the hotel and casino and continue the recovery on the Gulf Coast," said David Simon, chief executive officer, Simon Property Group, Inc. "We expect that there will be a multitude of restaurant and entertainment options in our portion of the development that will only add to visitors' enjoyment of the Margaritaville Casino & Resort."

"Harrah's is bringing together unique and energizing parties as it takes the leadership role in the redevelopment of the Mississippi Gulf Coast with the size and scope of this project," said John Payne, president, Central Division for Harrah's. "The heart and soul of Margaritaville Casino & Resort, Pascagoula, MS-native Jimmy Buffett, is a world class talent unto himself. Along with Simon Property Group's expertise in retail real estate operations, Margaritaville Casino & Resort promises to be a destination resort which will be amongst the finest in the Southeastern United States."

Margaritaville Casino & Resort features

Margaritaville Casino & Resort will be developed on 46 acres of land south of U.S. Highway 90 in Biloxi on the site formerly occupied by Grand Casino and Casino Magic. With a projected development start date of summer 2007, the Margaritaville Casino & Resort project features include:

  • Approximately 100,000 square feet of casino floor;
  • 250,000 square feet of retail space;
  • Approximately 66,000 square feet of meeting space;
  • 420 new hotel rooms;
  • 378 renovated hotel rooms;
  • Pool deck area with cabanas, bar, and tropical landscaping;
  • Full-service Spa;
  • Summer 2007 projected project start date; and
  • Spring 2010 projected completion date

Harrah's in Mississippi

Harrah's Entertainment owns branded gaming and resort destinations in Tunica and Biloxi, Mississippi. The following represents an overview of the corporation's economic impact to the state:

  • 2006 Wages paid in-state $139,843,098.69
  • Paid more than $113 million in gaming, sales, employment, and other taxes for operations in the state; and
  • Employs more than 4,700 associates at four properties.
  • Harrah's has exhibited its corporate social responsibility to the state of Mississippi through a wide range of activities.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Harrah's Mississippi casinos are particularly active in their support of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast. In 2005, two of the company's properties hosted major fundraisers for the group, which together netted more than $200,000. Early in 2006, Gulf Coast employees hosted a Clean-Up Day, during which volunteers spent the day at the Boys and Girls Club Forrest Heights Unit and the Boys and Girls Club Lundy's Unit to clean, paint and repair the facilities.

Harrah's Entertainment strives to share its success with its communities, making them vibrant places to work and live. The company offers support through donations and sponsorships, public and private partnerships, and encouraging employee volunteerism. In 2006, Harrah's and its Foundation distributed $76.8 million or, on average, nearly $1.5 million a week in community contributions. Additional information can be found at

In 2006, major grants were awarded to many prominent local organizations. Gifts included a $25,000 community partnership grant for the National Civil Rights Museum; a $25,000 grant for the Memphis Jewish Federation's Senior Lunch Program; a $25,000 community partnership grant for the American Heart Association ; and a $25,000 donation to the Biloxi Alzheimer Association.

Hurricane Katrina Relief and Recovery

Even before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005, Harrah's had sprung headlong into recovery mode. When the storm's brute force shuttered our New Orleans property and utterly destroyed our riverboats in Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., Harrah's had already created makeshift emergency shelters and information centers to give employees and other local residents safe places to stay, access to basic necessities, and resources to find housing and communicate with family members.

The Harrah's Employee Recovery Fund, seeded with a $1 million commitment from the Harrah's Foundation, ultimately swelled to $6.6 million thanks to generous employees, customers, business partners, community leaders, Harrah's entertainers and an additional $500,000 gift from the Foundation. Ultimately, a total of $8.1 million in grants, loans and relocation assistance was distributed to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Within weeks, employee Information Centers were opened in Gulfport, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, providing Harrah's employees with basic necessities - including on-site medical care - and with resources to help them find housing, communicate with family members, and cope with the devastation they'd experienced.


Trump receives buyout offers
As reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer

NEW YORK- "Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the casino company controlled by Donald J. Trump, has received preliminary offers from possible buyers.

"Company spokesman Tom Hickey confirmed last night that the strategic committee created by the company's board of directors had offers, but declined to give details as to who or how much.

"...Trump Entertainment had enlisted Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. in early March to explore the company's options. Wall Street analysts have speculated that one of the three Trump casinos in Atlantic City would end up on the block, giving the company immediate capital to expand into another market or upgrade its Atlantic City properties.

"...Trump Entertainment owns Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal on the Boardwalk and the Trump Marina in the city's Marina District. New competition has cut into Trump's market share in Atlantic City. His casino company emerged from bankruptcy for a second time in May 2005, and it received a $500 million line of credit from Morgan Stanley..."

Louisiana casino considers tower expansion
As reported by The Shreveport Times

LOUISIANA - "A Reno, Nev.-based casino and hotel operation that took over bankrupt Hollywood Casino about two years ago hopes to build a 300-room tower next to its existing one in downtown Shreveport.

"'We're very excited about the possibility of the project, but it's in the very beginning conceptual stages at this time,' said Gary Carano, president of Eldorado Resorts.

"..So the company is looking into the possibility of adding a tower of rooms, suites and amenities in Shreveport, Carano said.

"Currently, he said, the city is putting a one-floor deck on a lot near the casino.

"...Construction would start in 2008, Carano said..."

Liza Minnelli

Luxor, Las Vegas, Nev.: This dynamic stage, screen and television performer brings her legendary credentials to perform her well-known hits. Liza Minnelli's hits include “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Cabaret,” “Theme From New York, New York,” “Losing My Mind” and “Some People.” Daughter of singer and actress Judy Garland and Oscar winning movie director Vincente Minnelli, Liza has won every major entertainment accolade including The Oscar, The Tony, The Emmy and The Grammy and now she is coming to reveal her true passion as a concert performer at the Luxor Theater.

Date: May 25-27
Time: 9 p.m.

Ticket Prices:
$50, $70, $95

For more information: Official Web site

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