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Westin sets sights for summer debut

Jan 21, 2003 5:46 AM

The makeover at the Maxim continues with the purchase of an $800,000 casino management system from Acres Gaming.

"We’re pulling out all the stops and creating a beautiful new resort with an upscale yet intimate feel,’’ said Ron Ingoglia, vice president of slots for Wimar Tahoe Corp., which took over the shuttered hotel-casino for $38 million last year.

Renamed the Westin Casuarina Casino, the 800-room Flamingo Road resort is expected to re-open this summer. The 23-year-old property is now held by Wimar’s partner, Columbia Sussex Corp., a Fort Mitchell, Ky.-based hotelier.

Ingoglia said no precise debut date has been set. Wimar, which also owns and operates the Horizon Casino in Lake Tahoe and the Lighthouse Point Casino in Greenville, Miss., has not yet named a general manager for the Las Vegas property.

But the operator has already raised the casino floor, eliminating the annoying step-down of the old layout. Ingoglia said there will be 400 slots on the gaming floor.

Acres President and COO Rich Schneider said, "We believe that our bonusing program will help the Westin Casuarina capitalize on its proximity to some of the world’s most celebrated casinos.’’

Wimar execs are keeping their cards close to the vest on other details, except to say that there will be no poker room among the gaming offerings.

But if their resort at Tahoe is any indication, the entertainment package could be interesting. The big draw at the Horizon these days is a musical revue of top female singers ranging from Dolly Parton to Loretta Lynn — all played by men.