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Arizona Casino New CEO Has Big Plans

29 January 2003

ARIZONA – As reported by the Green Valley News and Sun: "The Desert Diamond Casino soon will be getting its first live blackjack tables, a new CEO who is moving to Green Valley, and plans for a stepped-up entertainment schedule, including daytime shows aimed at senior citizens.

"The Tohono O'odham Gaming Authority's board of directors Friday announced the hiring as CEO of Joe Calabrese, a casino executive for two decades and former Marine and New Jersey state trooper.

"…Asked about plans to market the casino to Green Valley residents, Calabrese said `that's where I'm gonna live. I'm 63,' then said he plans to bring in entertainment every weekend and to add daytime shows.

"…`At different times of day you get a different clientele. We're looking at certain types of entertainment--swing dance, big band. It's working up here' to vary the acts and showtimes, he said.

"A top draw at the Desert Diamond might fill the 2,400-seat auditorium and of that audience, 20 percent, or nearly 500 people, might wind up at the gambling tables, Calabrese said.

"…No timeline has been established, but the new casino on Pima Mine Road east of Interstate 19 will be getting its first 10 blackjack tables and the old casino on Nogales Highway will get 28 tables, Norris said.

"Blackjack was authorized for the first time in Arizona by Proposition 202, which voters approved in November.

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