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Aztar Considers Columbia Proposal

18 April 2006

PHOENIX, Arizona – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR) today announced that its Board of Directors, after consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has determined that an unsolicited proposal received from Wimar Tahoe Corporation, d/b/a Columbia Entertainment, the gaming affiliate of Columbia Sussex Corporation, is, or is reasonably likely to result in, a superior proposal, as defined in Aztar's merger agreement, dated March 13, 2006, with Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. Based on this determination that the proposal by Columbia Entertainment is, or is reasonably likely to result in, a superior proposal compared to the agreement with Pinnacle, Aztar's Board has determined to authorize Aztar to enter into discussions with Columbia Entertainment.

On April 13, 2006, Columbia Entertainment made an unsolicited proposal to acquire Aztar in a merger transaction in which the holders of Aztar common stock would receive $47.00 per share in cash and the holders of Aztar's Series B preferred stock would receive a commensurate payment dictated by the terms of the securities. Columbia Entertainment's proposal is non-binding and is conditioned upon, among other things, confirmatory due diligence.

Aztar also announced today that on April 14, 2006, it received a definitive offer from Ameristar Casinos, Inc. to acquire Aztar in a merger transaction in which the holders of Aztar common stock would receive $43 per share in cash and the holders of Aztar's Series B preferred stock would receive $454.79 per share in cash. The definitive offer included a signed merger agreement and a signed financing commitment letter.

As previously announced, Aztar is party to a merger agreement with Pinnacle, under which each share of Aztar common stock would be exchanged for $38.00 in cash and each share of Aztar Series B preferred stock would be exchanged for $401.90 in cash. The transaction with Pinnacle is subject to approval by Aztar's shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of necessary regulatory and governmental approvals.

Aztar's Board will evaluate all aspects of the proposal from Columbia Entertainment (including any financing commitment letter yet to be provided to Aztar), the definitive offer from Ameristar and the previously announced proposal from Colony Capital Acquisitions, LLC. Aztar's Board is not making any recommendation at this time with respect to any such proposal or offer, and there is no assurance that the Aztar Board will approve any such transaction or that a transaction will result.

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