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HARRAH’S ANNOUNCES PAULA DEEN PROJECT, $45 MILLION TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI RENOVATION
Extensive Renovation to Include a New Paula Deen Buffet, Rebrand of Grand Casino to Harrah’s Casino and Remodel of 1168 Hotel Rooms
TUNICA, Miss. – October 2, 2007 – Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., (NYSE:HET) today announced through its subsidiary, Harrah’s Operating Company, a strategic alliance with Food Network star, Paula Deen, and an approximately $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 $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:, $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, Miss., a new hotel tower at Harrah’s Atlantic City, and a substantial expansion to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.
Photo: Left to Right: Bill Wright, General Manager, Grand Casino; Paula Deen; John Payne, central division president, Harrah's Entertainment
About Harrah’s Entertainment
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada nearly 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. 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.
This release includes "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements contain words such as "may," "will," "project," "might," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "estimate," "continue" or "pursue," or the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. In particular, they include statements relating to, among other things, future actions, new projects, strategies, future performance, the outcomes of contingencies and future financial results of Harrah's. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, the actual performance of Harrah's may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following factors, as well as other factors described from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained therein): the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement with TPG and Apollo; the outcome of any legal proceedings that have been, or will be, instituted against the Company related to the merger agreement; the inability to complete the merger due the failure to satisfy conditions to completion of the merger, including the receipt of all regulatory approvals related to the merger; the failure to obtain the necessary financing arrangements set forth in the debt and equity commitment letters delivered pursuant to the merger agreement; risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; the impact of the substantial indebtedness to be incurred to finance the consummation of the merger; the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on the gaming and hotel industries in particular; construction factors, including delays, increased costs for labor and materials, availability of labor and materials, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building permit issues; the effects of environmental and structural building conditions relating to our properties; access to available and reasonable financing on a timely basis; the ability to timely and cost-effectively integrate acquisition into our operations, including London Clubs; changes in laws, including increased tax rates, regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions, including gaming legislative action, referenda and taxation; the ability of our customer-tracking, customer loyalty and yield-management programs to continue to increase customer loyalty and same store sales or hotel sales; our ability to recoup costs of capital investments through higher revenues; acts of war or terrorist incidents or natural disasters; abnormal gaming holds; and the effects of competition, including locations of competitors and operating and market competition.
Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. Harrah's disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date stated, or if no date is stated, as of the date of this press release.
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