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HILTON TO ENTER RIVERBOAT GAMING

 HILTON TO ENTER RIVERBOAT GAMING
 BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Hilton Hotels Corp.


(NYSE: HLT) and New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc., a private company, have announced the formation of a joint venture to seek a gaming license in New Orleans to build and operate a 3,000-passenger gaming riverboat on the Mississippi River form the Canal Street dock adjacent to the New Orleans Hilton. The paddlewheeler's preliminary design features a 400-foot-long, 90-foot-wide vessel, containing a 30,000-square-foot casino, 1,485 slot machines and 66 table games.
 The joint venture plans on applying for a gaming license immediately upon formation of the Louisiana Gaming Commission. Construction of the boat is expected to take 15 months and would begin as soon as the gaming license is issued. The joint venture has contracted with Halter Marine Inc., a Louisiana corporation, for the design of the boat.
 "Hilton has long been at the forefront of the gaming industry and as gaming proliferates across the country, we plan on taking advantage of appropriate opportunities," said Barron Hilton, chairman and president of Hilton Hotels Corp. "Our more than 20 years of experience in running some of the most successful gaming operations around the world will lend immeasurable excitement and credibility to riverboat gaming."
 New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc. established in 1983, currently operates three of New Orleans' most luxurious passenger paddlewheels -- the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, the Riverboat Cajun Queen and the Paddlewheeler River Rose -- the largest accommodating up to 1,000 passengers for daily and nightly public cruises and private charters. New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc. Chairman of the Board James E. Smith Sr. and President Warren L. Reuther Jr. also own and operate New Orleans Tours Inc., D.M.I. Travel, Destination Management Inc. New Orleans, Crown Point Swamp Tours, Airport Shuttle Inc. and Riverview Photography.
 "Riverboat gaming will have a major impact on tourism to Louisiana," said Reuther. "The project will work to enhance the existing charm and excitement New Orleans is renowned for, and will have a positive impact on the economy in the state."
 The riverboat and land-based facilities will be developed at a cost of more than $35 million and will employ approximately 800 people. Hilton will own 50 percent of the project and manage the casino operation.
 Hilton Hotels Corp.'s gaming interest currently include the 3,174-room Las Vegas Hilton, the 3,529-room Flamingo Hilton Las Vegas, the 604-room Flamingo of Queensland, Australia. In the spring, the company will open the 614-room Hotel Conrad Istanbul Hotel and Casino.
 -0- 3/2/92
 /CONTACT: John V. Giovenco, president of Gaming Division, Hilton Hotels, 702-732-5205/
 (HLT) CO: Hilton Hotels Corp.; New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc. ST: California, Louisiana IN: LEI CNO SU: JVN


DM-JL -- LA001 -- 3748 03/02/92 08:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 2, 1992
Words:458
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