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Best of Rudi Schiffer

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Heard it on the River

24 May 2004

Lots of great news coming out of TUNICA RESORTS in recent days such as a $65 million waterpark, grand opening of the TUNICA NATIONAL GOLF & TENNIS CLUB, two new casino filings for licenses, and an option exercised to buy over 500 acres for a motor sports complex that could eventually cost $100 million. Like I am wont to say, "Tunica County is the little county that could."

The GRAND waterpark is the subject of a front-page feature in this issue of JACKPOT so no need to go into detail here unless you need a quick fix on this proposed indoor/outdoor facility. Grand has hooked up with SOUTHEAST RECREATION in Hernando, MS and got initial approval from the County Board of Supervisors to move the deal along. It could open up 200 new jobs and bring up to 500,000 visitors to our growing Resort, according to JON LUCAS, president of CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT TUNICA GROUP, the mover behind this push. Grand is putting 30 acres into the project to make it go. But it's tough to win 'em all…Tunica missed out on staging the DAVIS CUP match between the USA and BELARUS but will have another shot next year.

TUNICA NATIONAL has been open for a few weeks now but the Grand Opening was special with a large crowd on hand, including his honor, Gov. HALEY BARBOUR, who seems to like Tunica County. The Guv was in a hurry to test the new championship links and thankfully kept his talk to a minimum as the sun was burning down. Many speakers had preceded him to the podium including KEN MURPHREE, our able County Supervisor, who gave out due praise to the BINION, ROBINSON and OWEN families who made it all work by donating 220 acres for the MARK McCUMBER- designed 18 holes. The $12 million layout was in great shape for the Guv's foursome. We wanted to tag along but the Guv had no room for a caddy so I teamed up with other media members for a rewarding tour of the County-owned public course, which is in great shape and not a punishing trip.

Will it be long before retirement homes are built around Tunica National? I hope so, what with the so low property taxes in the county. We still need a Krogers, or better yet, a FRESH MARKET store like the very popular stores in Memphis and Germantown. After a successful outing recently on the National, I have been again inspired to take up the clubs again and will use them flawlessly on the famed DANCING RABBIT COURSE at Pearl River Resorts. All reports say it is a fab layout, picture poster card perfect. Fore!

Speaking of Binion, as in JACK, lots of folks ask me what the HORSESHOE'S secret to success is. I know what it is as Jack told me and I'll tell you soon in a future issue of MISSISSIPPI GAMING NEWS and JACKPOT MAGAZINE. So read them first before you put them on the bottom of the birdcage.

Thanks to all who voted for your humble columnist to receive the first annual JEFF PISELLI MEDIA SUPPORT AWARD. Jeff was a very talented and well-liked Public Information Officer for Tunica County who died last year. It is an honor to have his name on the award. The press release from the Convention & Visitors Bureau said that yours truly, in many ways, has been "the voice and face of the Tunica gaming industry since its inception in 1992." They said it, but I don't mind repeating it one bit. So much for the" humble"shtick. I do give thanks for those who made it possible… Tunica county leaders, Morris Specialty Publications and CEO MICHAEL SUNDERMAN, and casino people at every level from the gaming pits and kitchens to the front office, who have helped me do my job for the past 12 years. It has been a great ride with great support and it's not over. I am truly grateful for the honor. Thank you. And Dad, you were wrong. That's another story.

In another surprise, WEBSTER FRANKLIN, President of the Tunica CVB, was inducted into the TOURISM HALL OF FAME at the awards banquet held at HOLLYWOOD CASINO. It was opportune it was held there as Hollywood received the LARGE BUSINESS of the Year award. GRAND CASINO'S Employee Volunteers received the Volunteer Service Award for outstanding community work. The event is sponsored by the CVB and Chamber of Commerce and over 200 folks attended the well-run function now in its second year. All the winners are listed in a story elsewhere in this issue.

COCA-COLA was never this good…. HARRAH'S and the Coca-Cola Company have joined in a unique promotion that will bring to $25,000 a lucky winner. The promo, which runs through July 31, has Coke producing 21 specially designed soft drink cans with GPS tracking chips that are inserted into 12-pack containers. One of them will find its way to Harrah's in Tunica and be hidden in packs awarded to customers taking part in WIN FINDERS. If the can finds you, don't discard it! The casino just gave away four vehicles and it's at it again when on May 31 it kicks off a new promotion that features two Chrysler PT Cruisers as prizes.

WELCOME HOME CRISSI…Horseshoe employee Crissi Lawrence is back in the buffet slinging biscuits instead of grenades after serving in Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard 223rd Engineer Battalion from Clarksdale.

GOLDSTRIKE had a nice turnout at its recent $100,000 blackjack tournament. Some 206 players entered, up 21 percent from the last event. NANCY DARCY, always looking to improve the tournament, has come up with an interesting twist on prelim round payouts in the next tournament that means increased prize money for all. How about $150,000 guaranteed of course. That's a big jump from $100,000 last time out. RAY SNAVELY of Ft. Meyers, Florida won top prize of $50,000.

DALE CARDEN is the new, first, poker room manager at ISLE OF CAPRI in Lula, MS and says he will open a ten-table room on July 1. He said he would have an active tournament schedule. You can call Dale at 662-357-7237. Dale is now also involved with the evolving RIVER POKER TOUR that made a successful debut at Grand recently. The Tour will hold its next $200 buy-in no-limit TEXAS HOLD 'EM tournament at SAM'S TOWN Friday and Saturday June 4 & 5. It is hoped that the final table will be televised on cable in the near future. See the full story on the poker page.

Coming soon to a casino near you…GRAND is hosting the MISS HAWAIIAN TROPIC SWIMSUIT COMPETITION and two more eye-fillers are set for May 28 and June 4 at REPLAYS on the second floor. Area Southern Belles will compete for cash prizes and a chance for the Tennessee finals. Registration begins at 7 p.m. with the big show at 10 p.m. The winner gets $500, 2nd $300 and 3rd $200. Not bad for two minutes of walking around in a teeny weeny thing. Once again they passed up on me to be a judge. Wonder why? I'm harmless. SAM'S TOWN is once again holding its DELTA RIVER CRUISING CAR SHOW July 16-18 and will be a show and half. More details closer to the event so stay tuned.

GOODTIMES RADIO REMOTES are on for Saturday May 29 at GOLDSTRIKE as the show opens the new bar at the CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE. We will be there from 9:30 to noon so stop in for a martini if your constitution can stand it that early. Goldstrike and the tango king, Lucio, are making more moves in F&B but that is for later. On June 5 GoodTimes will help kick off SAM'S TOWN 10th Anniversary month-long bash with a live show from the Atrium. Listen to the show on SPORTSPLUS 790WMC AM Memphis or on the Internet at AUDIOVEGAS.COM. Happy to say the show is also celebrating its 10th anniversary and will give away great room, food, beverage and related prize packages each weekend from participating casinos who are featured on the show each of ten consecutive Saturdays starting May 29 with Goldstrike.

CASINO FACTORY SHOPPES continues to grow and has added CAPTIVA, a new outlet store concept that specializes in Missy and Plus Size women's apparel. They will have a sale on Memorial Day and also offer a 10 percent discount to casino employees.

From THE QUOTABLE GAMBLER…Lyons Press
"Gamblers, with but few exceptions, are the most honest men in the world."
NICK 'THE GREEK' DANDALOS (King of Gamblers, 1969)


LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER.

Heard it on the River is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer

Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com
Rudi Schiffer
Rudi Schiffer is a long time columnist and contributing writer for Jackpot Magazine, the South’s leading gaming publication, and for casinocitytimes.com, the world’s leading casino industry internet news distributor. He is also owner and co-host of the 20-year-old Goodtimes Radio Show, now simulcast on Fridays from 3-6 PM Central Time from Country Classic 1180 AM, Memphis networked with KMIS 1050 AM, and 103.9 KGLU FM from Kennet, MO covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. His radio show is also archived at audiovegas.com. A Boston University Journalism graduate, he resides in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Voice of Tunica" for his support the gaming jurisdiction for two decades, he was also recently named to Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine’s 3rd annual “The Power Players, Who’s Who” of Memphis.He is also a contributing writer for Southern Gaming & Entertainment and Mississippi Gaming.

Rudi Schiffer Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com