Casinos Kick Off 2002 Summer Season With Star Entertainment

The Sieverts left their 5-year-old twins back in Atlanta so the couple could enjoy a Memorial Day getaway in Biloxi. Tina Sieverts said they made the holiday trip because it was a "close, cheap, easy flight from Atlanta. And we heard there were $5 tables."

Five dollar tables and big name entertainment - casino executives such as Beau Rivage's Bruce Nourse think that combination will bring a record number of summer visitors through their front doors.

"We feel that this summer is going to be an outstanding summer," Nourse said. "Not only because the trend is to drive more and fly less, which simply works for the whole coast benefit, but here at the Beau Rivage, we expect our entertainment and Stomp to peak during June, July and August."

Down the street, Casino Row has its own winning formula - slot machine action inside and Friday night fireworks outside.

Bill Kilduff is general manager at the Isle of Capri, one of the three properties that make up Casino Row.

"I think we're going to be way above the levels we were a year ago," Kilduff said.

A year ago, Coast casinos set gross gaming revenue records. But to do that, they had to spent a lot of money on advertising campaigns and top name entertainment. The marketing philosophy should be similar this summer. And Kilduff said so should the end results.

"We want people to come here, forget about life for awhile, enjoy themselves," Kilduff said.

To help with that enjoyment, Casino Row launched the first of 15 Friday night fireworks shows. The three Biloxi casinos paid $250,000 for this summer's pyrotechnic showcase.

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