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Best of Rudi Schiffer

Gaming Guru

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Heard it on the River

23 May 2005

With all the new companies coming into Tunica look for changes and facility upgrades, all of which will benefit gamers as the competition heats up. Las Vegas has its singular allure and Atlantic City is popular as well but Tunica still beats 'em all when it comes to plain ol' gambling. And the comps aren't bad either. COLONY CAPITAL is now ensconced on Casino Strip as RESORTS and sister casino BALLY'S has a new GM in MICHAEL FRAWLEY, a 27-year vet of the biz. MGM/MIRAGE is making a smooth transition at GOLDSTRIKE and it has been seamless as far as gamblers are concerned. In mid-June HARRAH'S should be completing is acquisition of CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT (Grand and Sheraton) and after that the market should settle down.

RESORTS will kick it up a notch for its grand opening celebration on June 15-19. There will be cash and car qualifying drawings each night with a beautiful MUSTANG given away on Sunday June 19. There will be entertainment all five days including GABBY JOHNSON on June 15. There is also a ring girl competition set for the JOHNSON-TARVER championship fight on June 17 and on Saturday, June 18, GOODTIMES RADIO will hold a remote broadcast from 9:30 – noon. Stop by and we will make you famous for one minute.

CONGRATULATIONS to owner DON BARDEN, GM DOM MEZZETTA and the entire FITZGERALDS CASINO crew who will celebrate the casino's 11th anniversary in June with the knowledge that their collective efforts just resulted in FITZ' being awarded THE LARGE BUSINESS of the YEAR honor for "dedication to the community, contributing time and talents in support of education in Tunica County." The CHAMBER of COMMERCE award took place at the well-attended Fourth Annual Tourism awards co-sponsored by our very energetic CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU.

At the event two guys who have done a great job for TUNICA COUNTY were inducted into the TUNICA TOURISM HALL of FAME. CHARLIE WILLIAMS, Chief of Staff for GOV. HALEY BARBOUR and former director of special projects for the County, along with BOBBY E. WILLIAMS, Tunica Mayor, were the two recipients. And congrats to our capable Sheriff, K.C.HAMP, who won the Chairman's Award for service and dedication to the betterment of the community. At the same event it was announced that a federal grant of $150,000 has been approved to open an earthquake museum in the Tunica Museum. I hope it is earthquake proof.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO'S FAIRBANKS STEAKHOUSE has a new and I must say, very interesting menu, conceived by new chef d' cuisine ABRAHAM MARTINEZ, F&B Director, DON SALLY and room manager and sommelier, SCOTT JACKSON. The restaurant also just won its third straight WINE SPECTATOR Award of Excellence. See a complete review of the restaurant in this issue's dining guide.

PEARL RIVER RESORT and EAST CENTRAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE are partnering to offer new educational opportunities at the CHOCTAW BAND'S Hospitality Institute. ECCC is now offering a two-year program in hotel and restaurant management technology. Open to the general public as well, the two-year program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Not related to this announcement, but very interesting, HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY JUDGE PATRICIA WISE will rule soon on whether casino management courses can be taught in the state. She recently head argument on efforts by the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISS to offer the courses. The STATE COLLEGE BOARD last year sued the state over whether USM's Gulf Park campus can offer a bachelor's degree in business administration in tourism with an emphasis in casino and resort management. Go figure. Meanwhile TULANE is offering a compliance class this summer in Mississippi for students enrolled in the University's casino resort management program. The course is being taught by the former chairman of the state gaming commission, Len Blackwell II.

Let's make the first-ever AIR RACES ever held hereabouts a success. Buy a ticket for this event before June 3 and you might win a free ride in a World War II legend, the fighting P51 Mustang. Can you see yourself zooming over the cotton fields at a gut wrenching 350 miles per hour? Bring your little bag with you. The show takes place from the 2nd through the 5th around Tunica Airport.

WDIA, a great radio station with a great DJ by name of BOBBY O'JAY, an old friend, will host the first ever BLUE JEANS BALL at FITZGERALDS on Friday June 17. In honor of the casino's11th birthday, the Ball will feature good food, dancing, giveaways and a jeans contest. GOODTIMES RADIO will be on hand to help celebrate the birthday on Saturday June 25 with a remote broadcast from the casino. Stop by to win a trivia prize buffet from 9:30 to noon.

If you like your comedians sassy, take in BRETT BUTLER who will display her unique approach to stand-up comedy at GOLDSTRIKE'S beautiful MILLENNIUM Theater on Friday June 10 at 9 p.m. Some have labeled her the "Southern Lenny Bruce." For tickets call 800-24K-PLAY or go online at goldstrike.com. Another hot ticket will be for the re-opening of BLUESVILLE at HORSESHOE. Closed for renovations, the first act in will be the BLUES BROTHERS on June 8-9 at 9 pm. Call 800-303-SHOE.

Equine lovers can get their fill at two major equestrian events staged by DELTA CLASSICS at the TUNICA ARENA soon. On June 15-19 the DELTA BLUES HORSE SHOW is scheduled. You can attend the "I SAW ELVIS GRAND PRIX there on Saturday night June 18. And the TUNICA HIGH ROLLERS SHOW will be held June 22-26 featuring a $25,000 MAKE-A-WISH Grand Prix.

The vast majority of table game dealers in Tunica are friendly, patient and perservering when it comes to obnoxious players. But sometimes you run into one who stands out, like IRENE on the day shift dealing blackjack at the new RESORTS TUNICA. Not only is she highly competent but also has a great sense of humor tied to the hand of the moment. She makes it fun to play. Irene, you get the highly coveted "ATTA GIRL" award this month. And TIM, who makes blackjack fun at GOLDSTRIKE, gets my "ATTA BOY" honor. Don't forget. tip your dealers and servers.

LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER
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