Harrah’s Entertainment announced through its subsidiary, Harrah’s Operating Company, a strategic alliance with Food Network star, Paula Deen, and an approximately USD 45 million renovation of Grand Casino Resort Tunica.
The 560 seat, Paula Deen’s Buffet is expected to open in May 2008. In conjunction with the renovation, the Grand Casino Resort Tunica’s name will change to Harrah’s Casino Tunica. The unveiling of the newly re-branded Harrah’s Casino Tunica is scheduled for May 2008.
„This USD 45 million investment at our largest property in Tunica, the third largest gaming market in the United States, is further proof that Harrah’s Entertainment is committed to continue to enhance our network of branded properties around the world,“ said John Payne, central division president, Harrah’s Entertainment.
The installation of Paula Deen’s buffet at the newly named Harrah’s Casino Tunica will be the beginning of the transformation of the entire second floor into an entertainment promenade consisting of three retail outlets, three food outlets including Paula Deen’s Buffet, Replays Sports Bar and Grill, and Murano’s Italian Restaurant. Additional vendors and outlets are still in negotiations.
Bill Wright, General Manager for the Grand Casino noted, „We are pleased to work with Paula Deen at Harrah’s Casino Tunica. We believe this will be a tremendous draw to our property and to the market since this restaurant will be second only to the Lady and Son’s in Savannah, Georgia.“
„I am so excited to be able to work with Harrah’s on this project and be able to bring my vision and food to the all my fans and the new Harrah’s Casino in Tunica, Mississippi,“ said Paula Deen.
The complete overhaul will include a refurbishment of the rooms, new beds, carpet and furniture. Rooms will be refurbished by floor with the first hotel tower to be completed by May of 2008 and the second tower to be completed by September of 2008.
Harrah’s Casino Tunica also will undergo a complete first floor reconfiguration including a new entertainment bar, new carpet, lighting, high limit salon and poker room. As an industry leader in gaming and gaming technology, this reconfiguration will represent the innovation and quality gaming experience associated with Harrah’s.
This expansion and name change is another project in the extensive growth portfolio announced in the past 24 months by Harrah’s Entertainment, including, USD 1 billion expansion to Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas, a new world-class sports and entertainment arena with AEG on the Las Vegas Strip, London Clubs International, Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi, a new hotel tower at Harrah’s Atlantic City, and a substantial expansion to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.