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PAR-A-DICE RIVERBOAT CASINO ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BUILD LARGER BOAT

 EAST PEORIA, Ill., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Par-A-Dice will get even better by Spring 1994, when a brand new riverboat begins cruising on the Illinois River for the East Peoria riverboat casino operation.
 Construction of the $11 million vessel will begin immediately at the same Jacksonville, Fla., shipyard which built the existing Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino. Construction is expected to take ten months.
 Atlantic Marine will build the 240-foot-by-66-foot, ultra-modern Casino Cat(TM). The wide hull boat will have a flat bottom with a simulated catamaran bow for sleeker lines. Designed by the naval architectural firm of Rodney E. Lay and Associates, also of Jacksonville, the state-of-the-art, 1994 model vessel will have a 1,600-passenger capacity.
 The new Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino will house 33,000 square feet of casino space, more than twice the size of the present 12,500-square-foot casino space. Casinos will operate on the main, second and third decks of the boat. The fourth deck will be open-air, and includes a raised Pilot House.
 The new riverboat will be 20 feet longer and 20 feet wider than the current sternwheel style Par-A-Dice. The additional width allows greater aisle space and increased passenger comfort. All-new gaming equipment will be installed at a cost expected to exceed several million dollars.
 Par-A-Dice General Manager Mark Sterbens said the larger vessel is necessary to boost the number of gaming positions to the 1,200 maximum permitted by Illinois law. The Par-A-Dice currently has 804 gaming positions.
 "Customer demand has influenced our decision to build a larger boat," said Sterbens. "In the less than two years since Par-A-Dice opened for business, we have welcomed nearly two million guests aboard the casino boat. While we've heard many positive comments regarding the boat, our guests have also told us they would like to see improvements, especially wider aisles, more gaming positions, and a better ventilation system. Our new boat will address those customer concerns."
 Sterbens also noted that East Peoria, Peoria, and the state of Illinois will benefit from increased gaming revenues generated from the larger vessel. Par-A-Dice currently generates a DAILY average of $26,000 for the state and $11,000 DAILY, split between East Peoria and Peoria from gaming taxes alone. Those figures are expected to increase substantially as a result of the larger casino boat. Additional jobs will also be created to facilitate the expanded casino. Par-A-Dice currently employs over 700.
 Guests will board the new Par-A-Dice Riverboat from Par-A-Dice Pavilion, entering into an open, two-story atrium between the second and third casino decks. The new boat's interior will feature a dazzling art deco design, complementing Par-A-Dice Pavilion's art deco interior.
 Customer service areas on the new boat will be improved and expanded, including cage facilities (for making change), restrooms, bars and lounge areas on each deck. Sit-down bars will feature built-in slot machines. The new boat, as is the current Par-A-Dice, will be totally handicapped accessible.
 The existing sternwheel riverboat will continue to operate from Par-A-Dice Pavilion, East Peoria, until the new boat, also to be known as Par-A-Dice Casino, arrives next spring. Future plans for the existing sternwheel Par-A-Dice Riverboat are undetermined at this time.
 -0- 8/05/93
 /CONTACT: Carole Halicki of Par-A-Dice, 309-694-5938/


CO: Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino ST: Illinois IN: CNO SU:

DB -- MN004 -- 9820 08/05/93 11:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1993
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