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Atlantic City Showboat Races to Finish Expansion

16 August 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Showboat - the Mardi Gras Casino topped off its 19-story hotel tower Wednesday morning, and the rush is on to finish the job before a billion-dollar competitor opens its doors next summer.

" `It's a real race right now,' General Manager Tom O'Donnell said. `I think the market will absorb everything (the new hotel rooms and casino games from both casinos), but it's always to your benefit to be first.'

"O'Donnell said the 544-room, 19-story Showboat expansion is 30 days ahead of schedule and in line with its $90 million budget.

"The target opening date is June 1, which would probably be before the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa opens. Borgata officials have kept to their `summer 2003' projected opening.

"Showboat will have 1,309 hotel rooms when the new tower opens, making it the third-largest casino hotel in the city and fourth-largest after Borgata opens.

"…Showboat, which turns away tens of thousands of hotel reservations every month, ranked sixth among the city's dozen casinos in revenue through the first seven months of this year.

"…Showboat further plans to lobby parent Harrah's Entertainment Inc. for a lavish Boardwalk facade improvement. Such a project would cost more than $20 million, O'Donnell said…"

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