Isle of Capri casinos head to Missouri’s boonies

Dec 11, 2001 2:51 AM


Boonville is the latest Isle of Capri site in the casino boom.

Isle of Capri announced the opening of the $75 million facility in the Missouri town, becoming the 14th property under Capri management.

The company reported earnings per share of $0.34 for the second quarter, well ahead of the consensus estimates of $0.26, according to United Business Media.

“Our sound, steady business plan has been put to the test and we have succeeded,” said Bernard Goldstein, chairman and CEO of Isle of Capri, Inc. “Our strategy has served the company well.”

The Boonville casino is strategically located in a drive-in market and offers patrons the regional flexibility to access its operations without air travel. The project brought 800 jobs to the area.

The site is the first on the Missouri River and is located between Kansas City and St. Louis. The casino offers 900 slots, 28 table games and three restaurants.

Isle of Capri is predicting 1.5 million visitors a year in Boonville, drawing on a 50-mile radius encompassing a population of 320,000.

UFC heads to Conn.

The Ultimate Fighting Championships will present an eight-fight International card Friday, Jan. 11 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The main event features UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver (20-2-1), of Iowa will defend his title for the second time against BJ Penn (4-0-0) of Hawaii. Middleweight champ Dave Menne (35-3-3) of Minnesota will also defend his crown against top contender Murilo Bustamante (9-1) from Brazil.

There will be bouts involving fighters from Russia during the undercard. Tickets are available at Mohegan Sun, or by calling 1-800-477-6849. Prices range from $200, $100, $60 and $30.

The fights can also be seen on pay per view for $29.95.

Odds against Mohegans

Although gambling is on the rise in New York State, the Western Mohegan tribe is facing a long uphill fight to have a planned casino built at the Tamarack Lodge in southern Ulster County.

In order for a casino to open in New York, a recognized Indian tribe must enter into a gaming compact with the governor’s office. The Western Mohegans lack that recognition and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has not been prone to granting tribal status.

The bureau has received 150 requests for tribal recognition and has granted only 12 licenses. Other Ulster sites that have been mentioned as possible gambling locales include the Nevele Grande in Ellenville and the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson.

Unpleasant ruling

The Charleston, S.C. area will not have a 200-foot casino boat docked in the Harbor Marina.

The Patriots Point Development Authority in suburban Mount Pleasant voted unanimously to prevent the boat from docking in the marina. The lease would have allowed Golden Isles Cruise Lines of Brunswick, Ga., to operate “casino boats to nowhere” beyond state waters to gamble.

Casino boat supporters said there’s no difference between the boats and major cruise ships, which frequently dock in Charleston and often feature gambling.

Flood hurts Miss

The Silver Star Resort & Casino’s yearly earnings in Mississippi may have damaged more by an April flood than the tragic events of Sept. 11.

The Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise reported earnings of $237.7 million for the 2001 fiscal year, nearly $11 million less than totals for the same period last year.

There were some 2,110 slot machines and six table games that went inactive in April due to the flooding. The rains caused damage at the casino and led to a decrease in gamblers.

The Silver Star, Mississippi’s highest grossing casino, saw a 4.2 percent revenue decrease for the fiscal year.

Cal casino planned

The first step has been cleared for a proposed $100 million casino in West Sacramento, Calif.

Members of the Pomo Indians have purchased an option on the 65-acre parcel across the Sacramento River. Estimates are that the casino and accompanied 400-room hotel will cost $100 million to build.

“It would be first-class and could generate pretty good cash flow for the city,” said Frank Ramos, co-owner and developer of the project. “The project is very, very preliminary.”

The proposal has not yet been formally presented to the City Council, but some West Sacramento city officials have been briefed privately on the idea.

The project is expected to be voted on by November of next year. City officials have been planning for more than a decade to have the proposed casino site developed into a much-needed retail center.