BREAK OUT THE BUBBLY!"Let me be the first to tell you about an upcoming development at Park Place Entertainment," reported one of our Las Vegas Strip pipes.
"The company has reorganized its corporate marketing department and has appointed Caroline Coyle as its head. Caroline will soon depart the hallowed halls of R&R Advertising to join Park Place as vice president of advertising and public relations," he advised.
Coyle is well known within the gaming industry, having used her marketing skills at New York-New York and Caesars Palace and for many years at the shuttered Desert Inn.
Her baptism in Las Vegas resulted from her marriage in Atlantic City to long-time gaming executive John Vidmar. When Caesars World decided to open a racebook at Caesars Atlantic City, they asked Vidmar to head the team that designed and opened the property. While in AC, Vidmar met Coyle who was doing PR for Caesars Atlantic City. Love blossomed and marriage followed. They then returned to Las Vegas to continue their careers.
Vidmar, who was involved in MGM MIRAGE’s online activities on the Isle of Man, is now vice president of development with the Ken Rosevear Development company that is a subsidiary of MGM MIRAGE.
ANOTHER DETROIT RACE COURSE: "That Stronach crowd can’t be serious about spending as much as $125 million for a new racetrack in Detroit," remarked a caller from the Motor City. "Maybe they just don’t remember, or are not aware, of the fate of the old Detroit Race Course that was shuttered when business fell apart a few years ago," he pointed out.
The call was a result of recent press releases indicating that Magna Entertainment Corp., conglomerate of North American racetracks, had proposed building a track on a 212-acre site in Romulus, Mich., just north of Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
"I’m sure they’re aware that the area is now served by a couple of harness tracks that also have simulcast betting on races from around the country. But the big reason they should be reluctant to go forward is that an Indian tribe plans to build a big, fancy casino in Romulus. I certainly can’t believe that the community could handle both a casino and a racetrack," said the caller.
"Besides," he added, "what chance would the track have next door to a major casino?"
TIP OF THE FEDORA FOR MICHAEL GAUGHAN: Talk about a match made in gaming heaven: Las Vegas’ own Michael Gaughan, principal of Coast Casinos Inc., and former Boston Celtic star Larry Bird.
They announced last week that they plan to work together on a plan to build a riverboat casino complex in Bird’s hometown of French Lick, Indiana. True, they aren’t the only ones looking for the French Lick license but it will be hard to beat a combination that links a hometown boy with one of the country’s most successful casino operators.
And Bird has promised to sweeten the pot by pouring back some of the casino profits into projects to enhance the local community.
As for Gaughan, a basketball connection is nothing new. For many years, Gaughan has had a close relationship to legendary basketball coach John Thompson of Georgetown University.
HE’S STILL BETTING HIS OWN BUCKS: One thing about Sumner Redstone and his strong belief in the ability of WMS Industries to compete as a major manufacturer of gaming devices, he puts his own money in play.
Once again last week, the principal stockholder in Viacom, owner of CBS and other media companies, added to his WMS holdings by purchasing some 200,000 shares while paying between $24.12 and $24.45. The new purchases boosted his holdings in the company from 26.94% of all outstanding shares to 28%.
Actually, Redstone once held a full 30% of WMS stock but he was forced to pass some of those shares along to his former wife in a divorce settlement. Now, she sits with a large number of WMS shares in her portfolio, as well.