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Aztar Launches $225 Million Atlantic City Tropicana Expansion

18 April 2002

PHOENIX, Arizona – (Press Release) -- Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR) today announced that on April 22, 2002 the company will commence construction of a major expansion of its flagship Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The expansion, projected to open by March 1, 2004, will bring a new and exciting dimension to the Atlantic City market. The main components are:

The Quarter, a 200,000-square-foot indoor dining, entertainment and retail complex.

A new hotel tower with 502 rooms (a 30% increase), designed to cater to convention and meeting customers midweek and available to meet significant unfulfilled customer demand on weekends.

A 20,000-square-foot meeting and convention facility (a 40% increase) with the entire top floor of the new tower dedicated to boardrooms and hospitality suites with ocean vistas.

2,400 parking spaces (a 65% increase) in a state-of-the-art garage.

These new facilities will link seamlessly to the Tropicana's existing casino complex, where slot capacity will rise to more than 4,400 machines.

The cost of the expansion, excluding tenant improvements, is targeted to be $225 million.

Customers at the Tropicana will benefit from the expansion in many ways. The Quarter will provide ``something really fun to do other than gamble'' in an imaginative and visually-stimulating environment with high-quality dining and entertainment venues, as well as substantial shopping. The increased capacity from the Tropicana expansion will also alleviate the property's recurring shortages of hotel rooms, parking, meeting space, and restaurant seating, especially during peak periods.

``The northeast gaming market is huge, and the Atlantic City casino industry's ability to tap into it is constrained by lack of hotel rooms and non-casino attractions,'' said Paul E. Rubeli, Aztar chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. ``There are 45 million adults living within 300 miles of Atlantic City, and we do not have enough facilities to accommodate them. The Tropicana expansion will give our company the opportunity to begin to satisfy the customer demand that we cannot fulfill currently.''

In 2001, the 12 casino properties in Atlantic City produced $4.3 billion of casino revenue with only 11,400 hotel rooms. In Las Vegas, the category including the largest properties on the ``Strip,'' with approximately 65,000 hotel rooms, produced casino revenue of only $4.2 billion.

``Most people do not realize that Atlantic City actually produces more casino revenue than the major Las Vegas Strip properties, with less than 20% of the hotel rooms,'' Rubeli said. ``So there is no doubt that we need many more hotel rooms and much more parking in Atlantic City. We also need more non-casino things to do in Atlantic City. Las Vegas is proving that there is a large and profitable market for non-casino attractions, and that's why we think The Quarter, with its creative approach to dining, entertainment and shopping, will be so successful. It will be different. It will be fun. It will be a draw for the Tropicana and for the entire Atlantic City market.''

Aztar is a publicly traded company that operates Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri, and Casino Aztar in Evansville, Indiana.

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