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Atlantic City Casinos Look to Build New Image

3 January 2001

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Jan. 3, 2001 – As reported by the Asbury Park Press: "Park Place Entertainment wants to buy the Claridge Casino Hotel, next door to its Bally's casino -- reportedly for the hotel rooms. The Sands Casino Hotel wants the Claridge, too, but to combine the two adjacent properties to form one large casino to compete with the more profitable gaming facilities.

"In this real-life game of Monopoly, the goal in the battle for the smallest and weakest casino in town -- it has 502 rooms and 59,000 square feet of gaming space -- is the same as it is on the board game with street names from Atlantic City: Build more rooms, house more guests, entertain more gamblers and, by doing that, enhance profitability.

"Creating more lodging for overnight visitors is a key part of Atlantic City's effort to cast itself as more of a `destination' resort.

"…And 2001, a year in which several casino companies will battle for supremacy in Atlantic City while several others begin or continue massive construction projects, may be the beginning of a pivotal stretch for the gaming center.

"…It's a tough corner to negotiate. There are plenty of slot machines and gaming tables, but a critical shortage of rooms, said David Jonas, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's. And rooms, he agrees, are the key to `becoming a little more of a destination resort.'

"…MGM Mirage is expected to build its own $1 billion megacasino -- with an estimated 2,000 rooms -- in the Marina District, although when is still unknown.

"Nearby, Boyd Gaming Corp.'s 40-story Borgata, expected to open in 2003, will have 2,010 rooms, 11 restaurants and a casino of 122,000 square feet with 3,650 slot machines and 120 gaming tables. The project, a joint venture with MGM Grand, will create 2,500 construction and 4,000 permanent jobs…"

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