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HARRAH'S CASINOS OPENS RIVERBOAT GAMING OPERATIONS IN JOLIET TODAY; FIRST RIVERBOAT IN U.S. TO BE OPERATED BY MAJOR NATIONAL CASINO COMPANY

 JOLIET, Ill. May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Harrah's Casinos received approval today from the Illinois Gaming Board to begin gaming operation aboard the Northern Star, Harrah's first riverboat casino in Joliet. The first gaming cruises on the Northern Star will depart today at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 12 midnight.
 Located on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, near Chicago, Harrah's Northern Star is the first riverboat casino in the United States to be owned and operated by one of the nation's major casino entertainment companies.
 The modern 210-foot long mega-yacht is the first of two Harrah's riverboats at this location. Harrah's Northern Star features a dramatic atrium through its three levels which offer 17,900 square feet of casino space, and accommodates approximately 1,000 guests per cruise. Passengers can choose from more than 500 slot machines ranging from 25 cent slots to $100 slots, and there are more than 40 table games including Blackjack, Craps and R pavilion this summer, Harrah's Joliet location will feature two restaurants one of which will be the Harrah's fine dining Italian restaurant, Andreotti's, as well as a deli and ice cream shop.
 Harrah's Southern Star will soon complement Harrah's Northern Star when it arrives in the fall of 1993. The 210-foot-long riverboat will be designed in the spirit of a traditional 1880s sternwheeler historically found on the Mississippi River. It will contain approximately 28,000 square feet, with 12,660 square feet dedicated to the casino. The tri-level riverboat will feature a restaurant and lounge on its third level. Current plans call for approximately 300 slot machines with denominations ranging from 25 cents to $100 and over 20 gaming tables, including Craps, Blackjack and Roulette.
 Harrah's Joliet, a Chicagoland getaway, is a convenient 45-minute, 40-mile ride from downtown Chicago.
 "It is a sure bet that Joliet and Harrah's will make a great team," said Tim Wilmott, vice president and general manager of Harrah's Joliet. "With the addition of our second Joliet boat coming in the fall of 1993, we will boost Joliet's economic recovery by adding nearly 1,000 permanent new jobs to the city with a payroll of $20 to $25 million."
 Harrah's is also currently developing casino entertainment facilities in Vicksburg and Tunica, Miss.; Shreveport, La. and North Kansas City, Mo.
 Harrah's is the only casino company operating in all five major casino gaming markets: Atlantic City, N.J., and in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Laughlin and Reno, Nev. Harrah's parent company, The Promus Companies Incorporated (NYSE: PRI), also owns and operates three leading hotel brands: Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites hotels.
 CRUISE SCHEDULE:
 Weekdays: Cruises depart at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 12 midnight.
 Weekends and Holidays: 9 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 12 midnight.
 Upon completion of its parking garage in late May, Harrah's will begin a schedule of six cruises per day, 365 days per year.
 For cruise information, admission prices and reservations, call Harrah's Joliet at 1-800-3-HARRAH.
 -0- 5/4/93
 /CONTACT: Lorraine Klebba, Harrah's Joliet, 815-740-7858, or Brent Burkhardt or Jocelyn Shrewder, TBC Public Relations, 410-347-7500/
 (PRI)


CO: The Promus Companies Incorporated; Harrah's Joliet ST: Illinois, Tennessee IN: LEI SU: PDT

MM -- CH011 -- 4448 05/04/93 15:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 4, 1993
Words:548
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