Issue 77
February 26 - March 4, 2002
Volume 2
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News
Passenger Volume Rebound Seen at Vegas Airport

Tunica Celebrates Ten-Year Gaming Anniversary

Allegiant Air Provides Charter Flights To Harrah's Properties

Greece To Ban All Electronic Gaming Machines

Atlantic City Makes Cents on Presidents Day

Show Time

No Doubt will perform at The Joint at Hard Rock Hoetl Casino on March 30

NCAA Record Book; Two Problem Gambling Books

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Passenger Volume Rebound Seen at Vegas Airport

LOS ANGELES, CA - /Reuters/ - Air traffic to Las Vegas, where nearly half of all visitors arrive by plane, has bounced back steadily since a post-Sept. 11 plunge, with a number of airlines even adding new routes to the city in recent weeks, an airport spokeswoman said on February 22.

Figures due out this week are expected to show that passenger volume through Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport was down about 10 percent in January compared with a year earlier, said airport spokeswoman Hilarie Grey.

That decrease would be a strong improvement over December, when the total volume of arriving and departing passengers was down 14.3 percent on year to 2.54 million passengers.

Passenger volume was down 17.9 percent in November, 16.3 percent in October and a hefty 28.3 percent in September, which included several days when McCarran and all U.S. airports were closed following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We really are seeing the climb back to normal,'' Grey said. "Barring any unforeseen changes, hopefully by summer we'll be very close to where we were last year.''

The steady rebound in passenger volume has been reflected in the major casinos of this tourist-dependent city, with hotel occupancy approaching year-ago levels while room rates are still down compared with last year.

In a sign that airlines are upbeat about the city's recovery, the number of scheduled flights is back to 90 percent to 95 percent of year-ago levels as carriers have gradually resumed many flights canceled after Sept. 11, Grey said.

One of those was Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. , which canceled all five of its weekly non-stop flights between Tokyo and Las Vegas, but plans to phase the flights back in starting next week.

The airline will run its first resumed flight to the city next Friday, and plans to gradually return to five flights per week by June, Grey said.S

In another sign of confidence from Asian carriers, Singapore Airlines Ltd. next month will announce two new round-trip flights weekly between Las Vegas and Hong Kong with connecting service to Singapore, Grey said.

From Europe, Virgin Atlantic Airways, a unit of Virgin Group , plans to add a third non-stop flight between London and Las Vegas this summer. The airline has continued to operate its two existing flights on the route throughout the months after Sept. 11, Grey said.

Domestically, America West Airlines announced an important resumption earlier this week when it said it would begin service between Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport again on Feb. 27.

The airline also announced the resumption of additional flights between Las Vegas and Boston, Denver, Dallas and New York starting this month. It said it plans to start new service as well between Las Vegas and Colorado Springs, Colorado and Salt Lake City in the weeks ahead.

Tunica Celebrates Ten-Year Gaming Anniversary

Tunica, Mississippi, currently the third largest gaming destination in America, will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a gaming resort with a series of special events and activities throughout the next several months.

"Tunica's accomplishments over the past ten years are worthy of a spectacular celebration," says Webster Franklin, executive director of the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We've come a long way since the first casino, Splash, opened in 1992. In those first days, when patrons stood in line for three hours and paid a $10 cover charge to get onto the gaming floor, the industry took note and realized the incredible opportunity Tunica offered.”

The economic turn-around in the area since the arrival of the gaming industry in January 1992 is referred to locally as "The Tunica Miracle." Tunica now welcomes 10-12 million visitors annually to enjoy its ten casino resorts and other amenities.

The Tunica gaming industry employs almost 16,000 people and the county unemployment rate is a low 3.4 percent, compared to 26.2 percent in January 1992.

Anniversary activities this year include promotions at the various casino resorts and special celebrations during Tunica Tourism Week (May 13-17). A “Big Bang” celebration in October will conclude anniversary festivities.S

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