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Rod Smith

$100 Million Planned for The Orleans

5 December 2003

LAS VEGAS --Coast Casinos on Thursday announced preliminary plans to add a third $100 million tower at The Orleans on West Tropicana.

The new 21-story tower would add 460 rooms to the Mardi Gras themed-hotel casino, bringing the total number of rooms to 1,886 when it opens in the winter of 2004.

The success and profitability of the current operation persuaded Coast Casinos to proceed with construction of the added tower, said Orleans general manager Horst Dziura.

The Orleans operates at 90 percent capacity, and Dziura said market data suggest the rooms in the new tower can be added without diluting the hotel's occupancy rate or profitability.

"We've sometimes had to reduce average room rates, but our occupancy has been holding strong. An empty room never put a bet on a craps table," he said.

No space is being added to the 135,000-square-foot casino and no amenities are being added, Dziura said.

Ground breaking for the expansion is set for early 2004. The new tower will face Tropicana Avenue and extend from the corner of the current towers along side the porte-cochere, forming a "T" shape when completed.

"When we opened The Orleans in 1996, it was built with the future in mind," Dziura said.

The master plan gives Coast Casinos the flexibility to expand room capacity in stages while maintaining the ambience of the property and without expanding the casino or other amenities.

Architect for the expansion is Klai Juba. JA Tiberti is the contractor, and Ron Frye is project manager. Interiors will be designed by Yates-Silverman.

The Orleans originally opened in 1996 with 840 rooms, then added an additional tower with 586 rooms in 1997. The 9,000-seat Orleans Arena opened in May and is home to the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team.

Coast Casinos is also planning to build a $325 million locals casino at the south end of the Strip that will include 750 hotel rooms and an equestrian events arena.

The company also operates the Suncoast, Gold Coast and Barbary Coast.