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HARRAH'S ANNOUNCES PLANS TO DEVELOP A RIVERBOAT CASINO IN ST. LOUIS SUBURB OF MARYLAND HEIGHTS -PROMUS AND SVERDRUP INVESTMENTS TO ENTER JOINT VENTURE FOR ST. LOUIS REGIONAL ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION-

 MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Harrah's, the casino entertainment division of The Promus Companies Incorporated (NYSE: PRI), today announced plans for a riverboat casino to be 100 percent owned and operated by Harrah's on a 71-acre tract in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights. Promus also today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Sverdrup Investments, a subsidiary of the privately held Sverdrup Corporation, to enter into a joint venture to create a 92-acre multifaceted entertainment destination adjacent to the riverboat site along the Missouri River in northwest St. Louis County. The combination casino riverboat and entertainment complex will create one of the premier entertainment destinations in the Midwest.
 The total investment for Harrah's and Promus in the joint venture and riverboat casino will be approximately $82 million. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
 The 43,000 total square foot Harrah's riverboat will include approximately 32,000 square feet of gaming space, housing approximately 1,460 slot machines and 54 table games. The 19th century Missouri paddlewheeler riverboat will be located in the southwest quadrant of Interstate 70 at the Earth City Expressway, offering excellent access and visibility for some 175,000 vehicles that pass the site each day. The site is also just five miles from St. Louis' Lambert International Airport.
 "We feel the St. Louis casino market will attract some 8.4 million visitors annually, many from the already strong tourism industry and many from the St. Louis metropolitan area," said Michael D. Rose, chairman and chief executive officer of Promus. "Harrah's casino entertainment complex, located in a premium location in the metro area, should capture between approximately 1.5 and 2 million of those visitors."
 Proceeding with the casino project is subject to licensing approval and other required approvals.
 The joint venture, representing a 50/50 ownership between Promus and Sverdrup, plans to develop a unique 92-acre tract entertainment complex in the area known as Riverport to serve both the metropolitan St. Louis area and Midwest tourism market. Sverdrup's Riverport encompasses 500 acres total. With its adjacent location, the Harrah's riverboat casino will become the centerpiece of the entertainment complex.
 "We envision a unique, multifaceted entertainment complex like no other in the country at Riverport," said Rose. "It will include live entertainment, some of the 'virtual reality' concepts sweeping the country, a variety of dining opportunities and specialty retail and lodging accommodations. The adjacent Harrah's riverboat casino complex will make the total package one of the major entertainment destinations in the Midwest," said Rose.
 Riverport currently includes 605,000 square feet of commercial office space, 176- room hotel with an adjoining restaurant/lounge, and the Riverport Amphitheatre, an outdoor entertainment venue that attracted more than 400,000 visitors during the 1992 summer season.
 "Based on the success of the Amphitheatre, Riverport's proximity to the historic shopping district in St. Charles and the unique entertainment attractions expected to be developed at Riverport, we think this exciting project will serve a broad segment of the St. Louis and Midwest markets," said Brice R. Smith, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sverdrup Corporation. "Sverdrup selected Promus from a list of high-quality candidates because of its excellent reputation in the hospitality industry and Harrah's standing as the premier operator of casino entertainment across the U.S.," said Smith.
 "We are also very excited to be teaming up with a company that has a similar corporate philosophy of providing quality entertainment to customers," Rose added.
 Master planning for the entertainment project is underway. The riverboat casino is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 1994. The first phase of the entertainment complex should open about 90 days later.
 The State of Missouri approved riverboat gaming in November 1992. Harrah's intends to submit an application for its riverboat casino as soon as the Missouri Gaming Commission procedures are finalized. The St. Louis regional project represents Harrah's second major investment in the Missouri riverboat casino entertainment business. A $70 million project is currently under development in North Kansas City.
 Sverdrup Investments is the real estate development arm of Sverdrup Corporation. St. Louis-based Sverdrup Corporation is a nationally ranked firm in design and construction, with annual revenues of about $600 million. The company employs 5,000 in 30 offices throughout the United States.
 Harrah's is the only casino entertainment company operating in all five established U.S. gaming markets: Atlantic City, N.J., and Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Laughlin, and Reno, Nevada.
 Harrah's opened its first riverboat casino in Joliet, Ill., on May 4th. Other riverboat casinos scheduled to open this year include a second boat in Joliet and projects in Vicksburg and Tunica, Miss. Scheduled to open in 1994 are projects for North Kansas City, Mo., and Shreveport, La.
 Harrah's parent company, The Promus Companies Incorporated, also owns and operates three leading hotel brands: Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites.
 -0- 6/18/93
 /CONTACT: Beth Rooks, Harrah's Casino Hotels, 901-762-8916, or Ralph Berry, The Promus Companies, 901-762-8629/
 (PRI)


CO: Harrah's Casino Hotels; The Promus Companies; Sverdrup Investments ST: Tennessee, Missouri IN: CNO SU: PDT

MM -- CH001 -- 3436 06/18/93 08:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 18, 1993
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