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Howard Hughes’ love for banana ripple ended too soon!

Apr 10, 2001 10:23 AM

EMILY POST WOULD NEVER APPROVE! Neither would Dorothy Dix for that matter. But, as far as I’m concerned, even though it may not be polite to laugh at someone, it’s sometimes tough not to do.

A recent press release sent by a public relations firm is a laughing matter. It would have us believe that Fabrizio Boccardi is an Italian mogul soon to be crowned "King of Las Vegas." It’s funny enough that Boccardi is described as an entrepreneur, real estate mogul and media darling. None of which, for my money, is accurate. Moreover, I think Fabrizio has been left out in the breeze too long.

He calls his latest Genesis Gaming. If you listen to Fabrizio, the concept will create a new trend recognition in Las Vegas and throughout the world and bring new levels of gambling to the casino floor. If you don’t believe the release or want a peek into the future with the "King of Las Vegas," simply call a flack named Eileen Koch at Koch & Co. in Los Angeles. She’ll tell you the rest of the story.

With due respect to the ladies of etiquette mentioned above, I must admit that when I hear another ploy coming from Fabrizio, I can’t help but laugh.

As far as I know, Boccardi may have tried to buy everything in Las Vegas except GamingToday. I figure if he couldn’t get it on with the Frontier, Polo Towers, Desert Inn or other properties, he has no shot with me. The only reason I give Boccardi so much ink is because I admire someone who never gives up when nearly everyone else thinks he’s an also ran.

But, for him to have the audacity to allow a release to go out claiming he is the crowned King of Las Vegas is so funny I can’t help but laugh.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! The traffic on Highway 76 leading to the new Pala Indian casino in the San Diego area was bumper-to-bumper. Thousands of invited guests were headed to the grand opening party of the new casino in North County. There were "oohs" and "aahs" among the guests. The Pala Band of Mission Indians and Las Vegas-based Anchor Gaming own the $115 million casino. It has 2,000 slot machines and 46 gaming tables.

"It may not be Las Vegas, but it’s a close second and should keep casino players happy," said one guest.

A retired architect, there with his wife, said he was happy to see the casino open: "It’s not Las Vegas, but it will keep me satisfied until I can take to the road."

Long-time Las Vegas casino owner Jerry Turk is project manager of the Pala casino.

Other new casinos in the area include the $90 million Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Rancho Mirage. Pala and the other nearby casinos will tap into a market of 2.4 million adults from San Diego to the suburbs of Los Angeles. Turk said the Pala tribe plans to spend $20 million in marketing during the first year.

DEL MAR AFICIONADOS, of which there are many in Las Vegas, should be interested to learn that a year-round training facility, is in the cards.

"We need a good training track and training facilities. The good owners and good horses in America will come here," said Gary Biszantz, a long-time Del Mar thoroughbred owner and breeder.

Ed Friendly of Rancho Santa Fe, who also owns thoroughbreds, said if Del Mar establishes a year-round training facility it will attract top trainers and rank with Saratoga, N.Y., as the best track in the country. The fairgrounds master plan for Del Mar was last updated in 1985.

THE WAY IT WAS! It’s always refreshing to read the mail coming from Ron Saccavino, who writes a monthly newsletter (The Dealer’s News). When Howard Hughes was staying at the Desert Inn in the late 1960s, Saccavino writes, he loved banana ripple ice cream. When the hotel ran out, they called Baskin Robbins in California to buy more. They were informed that the company no longer made it. In order to buy some, they had to purchase 20 gallons. They did. The next day Howard asked for maple walnut.