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Casino Openings & Expansions: Beau Rivage upgrades its gaming floor18 January 2016
At 32 stories high, the AAA Four Diamond resort, located on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, is the tallest building in Mississippi. Its name aptly means "beautiful shore" in French. A lavish atrium and lobby with freshly cut flowers and plants welcomes visitors at check-in, and guest rooms feature a contemporary design with Grecian marble floors in the bathrooms.
So it was only fitting last week when the MGM Resorts International property unveiled major upgrades to its 85,000 square-foot casino. "The Beau" – as it is called by locals – further glamorized its High Limit salon and moved its renowned poker room to the west end of the casino, taking over the spot that was once home to Memphis Q restaurant. The site of the former poker room was transformed into an expanded smoke-free area with new slots, increasing the number of machines at the property by 30%.
"It's imperative Beau Rivage customers feel our unwavering commitment to the guest experience," said General Manager Marcus Glover. "The luxurious High Limits and nonsmoking areas are welcome enhancements."
Located on the south end of the casino floor, the new High Limits salon "blends Southern elegance and comfort." Modern gas lamps line the perimeter in the upscale area, and a hanging light centerpiece spans the entire length of the open, airy lounge. The number of slot machines was upped to 126, and there is also ample seating, eight table games, a private cashier and a fully-stocked private bar.
The new design of the 16-table, smoke-free poker room – home to The Million Dollar Heater and annual Gulf Coast Poker Championship in September – is uniquely decorated with brick murals on the back wall. The move to the southwest corner of the casino was supposed to be temporary one, but Glover said due to "overwhelmingly positive feedback," it was made permanent.
"We listen to our players and as a result, the poker room has a convenient new address on the casino floor,” he said.
The poker room's former address is now a two-tiered, nonsmoking slots room adjacent to the resort's signature steakhouse, BR Prime. Titles among the 270 slot machines now offered include Top Dollar, Wheel of Fortune and Triple Gold Bars.
Recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the country's top resorts, Beau Rivage is about an hour's drive from New Orleans and offers the most table games, guest rooms and meeting space on the Gulf Coast. The resort's amenity golf course, Fallen Oak, is open exclusively to Beau Rivage guests. The course has been ranked the No. 2 casino course in the country – behind sister course Shadow Creek in Las Vegas – and each spring plays host to a PGA Champions TOUR event.
In Las Vegas, Bellagio Resort & Casino added to its wide selection of world-class restaurants last week when Harvest by Roy Ellamar opened its doors.
Designed by local architects Gensler & Associates, the new venue has wood flooring and paneled walls, complemented by hand-blown light fixtures and copper accents. The centerpiece of the space is Harvest's exhibition kitchen, made entirely of glass so guests receive a front-row seat to watch Chef Ellamar and his staff.
"Harvest is my passion project," said Ellamar. "It has been my dream to create a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip that highlights the best local ingredients, supports regional farms and offers sustainable cuisine. Guests can expect to find something new with each visit."
Harvest's "market-driven" menu features a "snack wagon" that travels from table to table, an extensive selection of "freshly picked" farm-fresh cuisine and a stone oven designed specifically for the restaurant. Bellagio Mixologist Ricardo Murcia and Director of Wine Jason Smith created a beverage program to complement Chef Ellamar's sustainable menu with regionally sourced ingredients and innovative libations, including a Carbonated Cocktail of the Day, Harvest Specialty Cocktails and a wine list of nearly 350 selections.
Hard Rock International announced plans for a second hotel and casino in the Dominican Republic. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Santo Domingo will feature 400 hotel rooms and suites and a 23,000 square-foot casino, and is expected to open in 2017.
"The Dominican Republic is the region's most visited country and continues to be the top performing destination in the Caribbean," said Nelson Parker, vice president of casino development, Hard Rock International. "The decision to bring a full service hotel and the brand's second Caribbean casino to the Dominican Republic is a testament to the country's remarkable strength in tourism."
The casino will feature two bars – including Hard Rock's signature Center Bar – a race and sportsbook, high-limit slots, 400 slot machines and 40 table games, as well as a private gaming room on the suite floor. The property will include 33,000 square feet of meeting space, a cigar lounge, a Rock Spa and a Body Rock gym.
Less than a year after its grand opening, Golden Nugget - Lake Charles in Louisiana broke ground on a new hotel tower that will add 300 rooms to the luxury resort and casino by end of 2016.
The rooms will be more than 500 square feet each and contain five-fixture bathrooms with two sinks, a walk-in shower, an oversized tub and a separate toilet room.
The new hotel tower will be consistent in design and look with the original tower, which opened in December 2014 and is located just under three hours east of Houston. Since opening, the resort casino has added a spa and salon, a pool, and an 18-hole golf course and country club.
Currently, the resort offers 740 rooms and suites, The Country Club at Golden Nugget – voted one of the top 10 new courses in the country by Golf Digest in 2015 – an 18,000-square-foot ball room, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa and salon, a pool, and a private beachfront and marina.
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City announced plans for a new $14 million nightclub called Premier Nightclub. The 18,000-square-foot venue will debut in the spring and create "theatrical experience for partygoers."
According to a press release, guests will be "welcomed into an ornate yet modern scene with tiered booths focused on the deejay booth, stage and digital proscenium."
The main room will feature two 35-foot-long bars with carved-stone faces and pierced-metal and mirrored back bars. A custom six-foot-diameter disco ball will serve as the grand showpiece and will be surrounded by a 25-foot-diameter chandelier made from programmable light.
"As the first to introduce signature bottle service, high-caliber entertainment and world-renowned deejays to the region, Borgata was a game-changer when it debuted its unique brand of nightlife in 2003," said Joe Lupo, senior vice president of operations for Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. "Nearly 13 years later, we felt now was the ideal time to once again redefine nightlife entertainment with a venue designed to rival the top clubs in Las Vegas, Miami and New York. With its debut, Premier Nightclub will provide partygoers with an experience that is unmatched in Atlantic City, further reinforcing Borgata's position as the market-leading resort destination."
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