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Atlantic City gets competitive

4 January 2008

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer: "No one in Atlantic City is running scared, but it is clear that the folks who run the show at the casinos are tweaking their game plans based on the gaming threats coming from Pennsylvania and, potentially, the Catskills.

"'Look, you live 15 minutes from Chester and want to play the slots, it's now there for you,' said Phil Juliano, the executive vice president at the Atlantic City Hilton who oversees entertainment at both the Hilton and Resorts Atlantic City.

"...One of the things Juliano said that Resorts and the Hilton will have more of in 2008 is entertainment that isn't circumscribed just to the weekend.

"...Larry Mullin, the president of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, said it is the chronic dearth of hotel rooms in Atlantic City that has driven entertainment, at least big-name entertainment, to weekends, when people have time to drive to the Shore for the evening to see a show.

"The Water Club, a separate hotel adjacent to the current Borgata, will open with 800 new rooms this summer. By the end of the year, there should be 2,500 new rooms total at the casino-hotels in town.

"...Among the entertainers hitting the Borgata early in 2008 are Diana Ross (Jan. 13), Matchbox Twenty and Alanis Morrisette (Feb. 15) and Avril Lavigne (March 28).

"Bill Borenstein, who co-ordinates entertainment for the four Harrah's properties, said each will try to differentiate itself more in the coming year. The House of Blues at Showboat will tend to have younger-skewing shows such as Fabolous (Jan. 26)..."

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