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Myriad Makes A Move

11 May 2006


The Tsunami of skepticism that for many months has accompanied the ambitious plans to build a $1.9 billion mega resort in Tunica County ran up against the levee that borders the 540-acre site with the revelation by CEO Scott Hawrelechko that four letters of intent to build adjacent casinos have been signed to the tune of $160 million.

Just two months ago the Mississippi Gaming Commission approved a revised site development plan of Myriad-Tunica for its proposed Myriad Botanical Resort project, several miles south of Hollywood Casino, for 24 months. At the same time the Commission approved plans to accommodate six casino development sites. That opened the door and Hawrelechko told Jackpot Magazine in an exclusive interview that already four gaming companies, three of them Native American firms, have each signed a $40 million letter of intent to become neighbors of Myriad.

He said that Myriad would be a Class A casino, and the centerpiece of the resort, with the five adjacent casino-hotels given Class B status after each operator passed licensing approval by the Commission.

In another new development, Hawrelechko said Myriad has just signed a $20 million equity letter of credit that is part of the company's overall funding initiative and groundbreaking for Myriad would take place around Sept. 14, subject to a funding schedule and any unforeseen delays. He also said that the Commission ideally would like the casino in place in two years but that the project is so large it would not be possible to have the total resort plan implemented and building would proceed in continuous and ongoing phases.

Phase one would include related site work such as hotel and casino pads, shaping, roads, water, sewer, and vertical construction is projected to commence in the spring of 2007. When completed the Myriad Botanical Resort project would be the largest ever approved by the state.

There has been very little growth in the nine-casino Tunica jurisdiction and the project's multi-attractions will be built to be an international destination, according to Hawrelechko, an Edmonton, Canada businessman. Current plans call for an 80,000 square foot casino and 1,200-room hotel but also will include a large 375,000 square foot convention center and some 250,000 square feet of retail space in phase one. An 18-hole golf course 7,205 in length would be covered for round-the-clock play in all seasons but the amenities do not stop there. There will also be a luxury spa, a water park and a snow park that may include an ice venue with trails and skating areas. Other options could include a large nightclub, and 10,000-seat arena, all linked by an indoor waterway transportation system and an elevated people mover system.

"This is a real cutting edge project that will encompass state-of-the art technology in solar power, climate control and air-filtration technologies," said Hawrelechko. "There has been a lot of eye-brows raised over this project and some healthy skepticism but we continue to move forward and our upcoming groundbreaking is another benchmark on our road to full implementation of this exciting and forward looking project that will bring this area a new and vibrant outlook."

For a visual representation visit www.myriadworldresorts.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
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