Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Harrah's Completes Casino Magic Biloxi Buy

LAS VEGAS, NV, November 10, 2006. -Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) said today its previously announced transactions with Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:PNK) -- the acquisition of the remaining assets of Casino Magic Biloxi by affiliates of Harrah's, and the sale of two Harrah's subsidiaries that own businesses in Lake Charles, La. -- have closed. In addition to the Casino Magic assets, Harrah's received a payment of approximately $25 million from Pinnacle in the transactions.

"It has been a privilege to be a part of the Lake Charles community for the last six years, and we wish the community every success as they work to continue the growth of their gaming and tourism industry," said Anthony Sanfilippo, president of Harrah's Central Division. "We look forward to the future in Biloxi, where this acquisition gives us additional flexibility in pursuing future development along the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment through operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada nearly 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Guest Service: Customer Service is a Key Business Differentiator
In today's hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace, customer experience has assumed a major role as a key business differentiator. There is a growing understanding that competition based on products or price alone is no longer a viable strategy. Since feature or function advantages can be quickly duplicated and/or enhanced, product innovation is no longer the differentiator it once was. And competition based on price impairs profitability. On the other hand, research indicates that 86 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience. To protect both market share and margins, hotel companies must provide customers with consistent, compelling experiences - before, during, and after their purchases - across all major channels. There are many things organizations can do to deliver a superior customer experience. Management must align everything a company does with the customer service experience in mind. They must assign high value to anticipation of customers' real needs and desires, and they must incentivize and reward personal initiative in the pursuit of customer satisfaction. They must respond quickly to customer requests. They must ensure that customer interactions are highly personalized, and they must deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. And perhaps most importantly, upper management must create a culture where customer service is valued and esteemed, taught and rewarded. Customer experience leaders who can drive this kind of cultural change will radically affect their companies? competitive position and business performance. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.