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 MEMPHIS, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Harrah's, the casino entertainment division of The Promus Companies (NYSE: PRI), today announced that Harrah's Jazz Company and Christopher Hemmeter, through the intervention and assistance of Governor Edwin Edwards, have reached a preliminary agreement in principle for the development of the land-based casino in downtown New Orleans. The preliminary agreement is subject to the Louisiana Economic Development & Gaming Corporation's approval and the execution of written agreements.
 The preliminary agreement will facilitate opening a temporary casino in the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. The temporary casino is currently planned to open by late December. Without the prior efforts of the Mayor and City Council of New Orleans, this goal would not be achievable.
 The temporary facility at the Municipal Auditorium will be operated until the opening of the permanent facility at the Rivergate site. The timetable, design, project cost and other plans for the permanent facility are currently being reviewed. The preliminary agreement contemplates a significant ownership interest in the venture by Harrah's, New Orleans Louisiana Development Corporation and Christopher Hemmeter.
 Harrah's casino management expertise, combined with Christopher Hemmeter's visionary capabilities and input from New Orleans Louisiana Development Corporation, will result in a project that will significantly benefit the city and State.
 The venture's board of directors will now be increased from six to nine members. Each group will have three representatives on the board with one representative from the minority community appointed by each group.
 Effectively, the minority representation has thus been increased from one-sixth to a full one-third.
 The parties will now work on definitive written agreements to be submitted for approval to the Louisiana Economic Development & Gaming Corporation.
 "Today's agreement means that upon the approval by the Louisiana Economic Development & Gaming Corporation and subject to other requisite consents and conditions, Harrah's can proceed with its casino entertainment development plans for New Orleans, including the planned opening of a temporary facility in late December, and a permanent casino opening at the Rivergate site," said Phil Satre, president and chief operating officer for Promus. "That means New Orleans and Louisiana will soon see the benefits of new jobs, new revenues, and the new tourism generated by casino entertainment.
 The preliminary agreement does not change Harrah's role as designer, developer, manager and operator of the casino, and use of the Harrah's brand name.
 Based in Memphis, Tenn., Harrah's is the only casino company operating in all five major Nevada and New Jersey casino markets -- Atlantic City, N.J., Lake Tahoe, Laughlin, Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.
 Harrah's first riverboat casino opened in May 1993 in Joliet, Ill.
 Additional casino entertainment projects in Vicksburg and Tunica, Miss., North Kansas City, and Maryland Heights (St. Louis), Mo., Shreveport, La., Central City, Colo., and on Ak-Chin Indian land outside of Phoenix, reinforce Harrah's commitment to be the country's most recognized and only true national casino brand.
 Harrah's parent company, Promus, also owns and operates three leading hotel brands: Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites hotels.
 -0- 8/25/93 R
 /CONTACT: Beth Rooks, 901-762-8916, or Ralph Berry, 901-762-8629, both of The Promus Companies/

CO: The Promus Companies ST: Tennessee IN: CNO SU:

SM -- NY082R -- 6016 08/26/93 08:58 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993

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