Grand Upgrade

Park Place Entertainment is expected to announce a $30 million high-tech upgrade to its hotel rooms, including some 2,000 rooms on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Overall, Park Place, the parent company of Grand Casinos in Gulfport and Biloxi, is expected to make changes to some 27,000 rooms throughout its system.

Gamblers, business travelers, families and other visitors will have access to digital television, on-demand movies and high-speed Internet access. Cox Business Services Hospitality Network, beginning next month, is to install digital video and audio connections and data ports at 18 Grand Casinos, Caesars, Bally's, Flamingo and Hilton casino resorts in Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana. Officials said the upgrade, which includes new TVs and cable lines, could take more than a year to complete.

Park Place and Cox will share revenue from the new on-demand music and video services and high-speed Internet access. ``Our digital upgrade will deliver more movies, more music and lightning fast Internet access, so that Park Place can continue to offer our guests a premium entertainment experience even after they've returned to their rooms,'' said Wallace R. Barr, chief operating officer for Park Place. ``Our business and convention customers will especially appreciate the high-speed Internet connections.''