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Harrah's Ups Ante In Council Bluffs, Ponders Selling in Tunica

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 13th June 2007 12:44pm
  » filed under Harrah's Entertainment  comments: 0

   

A couple of tidbits in the news today concerning Harrah's plans for casinos in Tunica, MS and Council Bluffs, IA. This is interesting not only because a lot of you folks out there gamble at these joints, but it signifies - on a local level - what some of Harrah's strategies may be - post privatization.

CommercialAppeal.com has an article about Harrah's being "content -- for now -- with Tunica Trio." The trio of course being Horseshoe, Grand Casino Resort and the Sheraton. Harrah's Central Division President John Payne says each of the three compliment each other and aim to please different types of visitors.

Still, analysts say that Harrah's - post privitaziation - could very well be in the market to divest itself of some of one of the Tunica properties - odds on favorite would be the Sheraton. Horseshoe is a cash cow, and Harrah's just upgraded the rooms and added a blues club.

In response to Ameristar Casino's announcement of a $100 million dollar expansion at it Ameristar Council Bluffs, Harrah's has announced plans to build a new five story hotel next to the Horseshoe Council Bluffs. The hotel plans to open next spring.

Publicly, Harrah's isn't offering much more than a "wait and see" attitude, but it is apparent that they're still on track to upgrade properties that are performing, and/or are being challenged in so called 'feeder' markets. This is right in line with what's been going on at the Flamingo the last 14 months - upgrading the 'performing' property to squeeze more juice and raise its cache. It's also right in line with whats been going on at IP/Harrah's and Ballys as well - maintenance, and minor upgrades to keep it looking fresh.

Don't expect any wrecking balls to hit any Harrah's properties in the next few years.



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