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Best of Rudi Schiffer

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Heard it on the river: A summer of promise at Pearl River Resort

19 June 2009

When Golden Moon Hotel & Casino had to reduce its work force and cut back its operation to three days a week, and took other cost-cutting measures to cope with the severe economic decline, it automatically set the stage for a comeback with the goal in mind of emerging from the downturn a stronger and more nimble organization.

It was a bold but necessary move for the two-casino Resort but one which since the cutback last January has been emulated by other casino operations with the same problems.

After six months under the discipline of the new approach, the process is on target for this jewel of Pearl River Resort and early signs all point to a rebound for Golden Moon.

A recent visit to Pearl River Resort showed strong evidence that a strong summer season was underway early. The hotel was crammed with weekend guests, the superb Dancing Rabbit Golf Club was maxed out with two large golf events taking place on both courses, the just-opened Geyser Falls Water Theme park was near capacity and sister property, Silver Star, remained strong overall.

The amenities at Pearl River Resort are a key to bolstering the current forward movement of the overall resort as they provide valuable financial support not available to most gaming operations in the southeast.

"The challenge of the economy required that we make bold moves when the turbulence hit us, "said Dale Hipsh, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Pearl River Resort. "It required difficult decisions but in the long run it paved the way for a stronger operation and stabilization. With that will come more revenue and an emerging nimble operation that will be beneficial to our guests, employees and members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

"All of our Resort community is looking forward to a busy summer season as the current signs show a rebound is taking effect," said Hipsh, a seasoned veteran of the international hospitality industry.

The key to a turnaround is not only how the problems were analyzed and corrected with appropriate actions taken, but a team effort that coalesced under fire and implemented a strong plan of action to pave the way for a stronger organization."

The basis for the new management tack was put in place by Miko Beasley Denson, the leader of the 10,000 member Band, according to Hipsh. "When Miko Denson was elected he set out to hire the best and brightest executives and this put in place a team that was ready and able to plan and implement a strong plan of action that eventually would benefit the Resort," he said.

Revenues at Silver Star remain strong and the true test of Golden Moon's resilience in managing the crisis will evolve over the summer and fall season. Of course, much depends on matters outside the control of the Resort, and central to that is the continuing weak economy that strongly affects any gaming operation.

But like the spring greening of the 36 scenic holes at Dancing Rabbit, optimism continues to grow here and is fed by a prevailing enthusiasm that is contagious.

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