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Foxwoods Bets on Makeover

28 May 2004

MASHANTUCKET, Connecticut – As reported by the Hartford Courant: "As a $300 million makeover takes shape at Foxwoods Resort Casino, it is gambling's friendly new face, not that old Rat Pack, on display.

"The future is corporate golf, with a Coach handbag and a spa treatment -not merely a memorable hangover and a plastic cup of quarters. It is family entertainment, brand-name restaurants and shopping to go along with the slot machines, gambling tables and late-night drinking.

"…Once the expansion is completed later this summer, visitors arriving at Foxwoods will stroll across floors of imported Italian marble and be greeted by the revamped 'Wampum Rewards' store. There, patrons will be able to use cash or gambling points to buy pricey barbecues, espresso machines, lawn tractors and plasma televisions. An 8,000-square-foot Hard Rock Cafe is just across the sunny atrium.

"Serious gamblers will still be able to wander in just as easily from the massive Rainmaker casino. But families looking for a break from the old Saturday-at-the-mall routine can also enter the cafe without having to navigate the new gambling floor's maze of slot machines and gaming tables.

"…Ben and Jerry's, a bookstore and a Coach handbag store will be around the corner from the new Hard Rock Cafe. A two-story electronic game family entertainment center, dubbed 'the tree house,' will open within months. A new cocktail-and-sushi lounge will add to a mix that already includes the B.B. King nightclub, frequent performances by national entertainers, a massive bingo hall, the ever-crowded buffet - and more than 6,000 slot machines.

"The casino's executives say customers want a 'total entertainment experience.' But with ardent gamblers already well-acquainted with Foxwoods' offerings, the new push is about hooking a new fish: people who ordinarily wouldn't bother with a casino…"

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