National Airlines Ups passenger count

Dec 4, 2001 8:39 AM

NATIONAL AIRLINES TOPS RIVALS! Only Las Vegas-based National Airlines showed an increase among the top five carriers in Las Vegas for the month of October compared to the same month last year. It increased 3.7% with passenger count at 199,589.

America West took the biggest hit. It was down 29.7% with a passenger count of more than 403,000. United Airlines followed. It was down 25.7% with passenger count at 229,162. Delta was down 14.3% at 211,095. And, Southwest Airlines, the number one carrier in Las Vegas, was off 1.6% with a count of 873,018.

CAROL BURNETT: PLENTY TO SPARE! Carol Burnett had them eating out of her hand in a CBS outing last week. The funny lady gathered her old gang together, tugged her ear, answered audience questions and showed “bloopers” of her one-time weekly variety show.

She scored a whopping 30 million viewers.

“IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK, ETC. ETC.! Members of the Mississippi Supreme Court used that “duck” example to define a gaming machine. They ruled simply that if a machine, amusement or otherwise, dispenses something of value upon the insertion of a coin then it is an illegal slot machine.

The issue came up when regulators confiscated machines that dispense either credits or tokens. A lower court ordered the machines returned to their owners. The regulators appealed to the high court for a ruling.

“The award of tokens is a payoff regardless of whether the tokens are redeemable for cash, merchandise or for additional plays of the machine,” the court ruled.

AT THE FINISH LINE: Aristocrat Technologies Inc. has a new 82,000-square foot, three-story building and will move into it in January. It is located near McCarran International airport. It will be the company’s consolidated North American headquarters and will house about 400 of Aristocrat’s 600 U.S. employees . . . Mayor Rudy Giuliani was inducted into the Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame . . . Good news for Harrah’s Entertainment (HET). The city planning commission finally approved plans for expanded dining facilities at Harrah’s New Orleans casino . . .  Angry Greeks! Greece’s computer users are angry. It seems there is a government proposal floating around to tax public access to computers. Cafes and hotels offering Web sites could be placed in the same tax category as amusement arcades . . .

GOOD-BYE, REGENT; HELLO, MARRIOTT! The Regent Las Vegas will benefit from the Marriott’s hotel reservation system now that the resort is going to be re-branded as a JW Marriott Hotel. The Resort at Summerlin group is still managing the casino until successful bidder Larco Investments from Canada is awarded a gaming license.

Long-time casino executive Bill Paulos was named vice president of casino operations of Resort at Summerlin and is now supervising the Regent’s gaming operations.

MARTHA ON THE MUSCLE? Word from the Big Apple is that Martha Stewart asked restaurateurs who have been featured in her magazine or on her television show to “donate” dinners to be raffled off to her staff as Christmas presents.

The idea never flew.

So, two weeks ago ”” the way I hear it ”” Mostly Martha emailed 65 staffers requesting that they each host 10 co-workers at a Christmas party. By the way, they won’t get to pick their guests, but will be given a list.

This idea didn’t get off the ground, either.

Martha started taking the heat. She then offered each “volunteer” $300 to help defray some of the costs of hosting. If the “volunteers” come to her rescue, Martha would cough up a mere $19,500 instead of the $100,000 or more that a party of this nature would cost in a restaurant or catering space.

Maybe Martha should stick to her household hints. It pays. And, she gets plenty of good ink doing it.

WHITE KNIGHT TO THE RESCUE! Hats off to Harrah’s New Orleans, the struggling land-based casino in New Orleans that was initially financed by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) and is still partially owned by the big gaming company.

Last week, it appeared that homebodies would be denied the opportunity to see their favored Saints meet the visiting Carolina Panthers because of the NFL rule that mandates local television blackout of games that are not sold out.

In stepped Harrah’s New Orleans Casino to buy a large block of tickets, thus permitting the blackout to be lifted.

The at-homers had even more to cheer about when the Saints came marching home a 27-23 winner.

MY, HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED! A decade ago, Canadians would have had to travel many miles in most cases if they wanted to gamble on anything except a horse race or on lottery numbers.

But, check out these revelations developed in a recent survey reported by the Canadian National Post:

There are now 100,000 places to gamble in Canada; gaming revenue in 2000, since surpassed, grew to more than $10 billion, and federal, state and local governments got $5.5 billion of that gaming loot and another $1.3 billion went to charity.

IS LOVE IN THE AIR for Tara Reed? The “American Pie” stunner is now an item with David Schwimmer, star of “Friends.” The couple has been together since meeting at the Nov. 17 Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman fight at Mandalay Bay.