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Harrah's Puts Planet Hollywood in Total Rewards

LAS VEGAS -- Harrah's Entertainment says it has finished integrating the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino into its Total Rewards loyalty program.

That means Harrah's customers will be able to earn and use customer loyalty credits at the Las Vegas Strip resort in the same way as at 36 other properties owned or operated by the gambling giant.

The private casino operator took ownership of Planet Hollywood in February after the resort defaulted on an $860 million loan. Under the deal approved by Nevada gambling regulators, Harrah's converted into equity $306 million of Planet Hollywood's debt that it bought for $70 million. Harrah's also assumed about $554 million more in loans, and agreed to invest $30 million cash into the property.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

The Transformation of the Las Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS -- Change is nothing new to Las Vegas or its famous Strip. But things have changed drastically from the days when cranes and heavy construction equipment dotted the skyline and there were great food deals at every casino.

UNLV has just released a new report that details the significant transformation that has taken place in the last 10 years.

"I enjoy the slots and I play Black Jack and Let It Ride," said Bernadette Bristol, a long-time Las Vegas visitor.

Bristol came to Las Vegas for the first time about 20 years ago. "Back then you could get a breakfast for $1.99 and get a good breakfast, or a buffet for $9.95. This is just our second day here, but the little that we've looked, I am not seeing things like before," said Bristol.

And there has been plenty of other changes over the last decade.

More Homeowners Falling Delinquent on Mortgages

LAS VEGAS -- The number of Southern Nevada homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments has climbed steadily for the past several months. In some cases, it's people just willing to walk away from their homes, and in other cases, homeowners are holding out hope that they will get a loan modification.

In any given neighborhood, chances are good that a homeowner is the process of walking away from their mortgage. In the past, five months was typically the longest a homeowner could stay in their home until the bank would come knocking. But that is no longer the case.

Nick Nolf with The Nolf Group has been in the real estate business through the boom, the bust, and now the slow turn-around.

Contractor Files Lawsuits Against MGM Mirage

LAS VEGAS -- The primary contractor for the newly completed $8.5 billion CityCenter complex has filed a lawsuit seeking $492 million for unpaid construction work. Perini Building Co. filed the lawsuit Thursday against several entities controlled by property owners MGM Mirage and Infinity World Development Corp.

The complaint says the CityCenter construction contract grew from $3.5 billion to $6.8 billion as a result of "numerous design changes and substantial project modifications." The lawsuit says MGM Mirage delivered those changes more than 100 days late and continued making changes, adding $500 million ton the project tab.

This month, Perini informed MGM Mirage of its intention to file $492 million mechanic's lien against CityCenter.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nevada's Unemployment Rate Rises to 13.2 Percent

CARSON CITY, Nev. --  Nevada's statewide unemployment rate rose to 13.2 percent in February, while the jobless rate in the Las Vegas area climbed another notch toward 14 percent.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Friday the unemployment rate in Clark County increased from 13.8 to 13.9 percent.

There was no change in the 13.4 percent jobless rate in the Reno-Sparks area. In Carson City, the rate fell slightly from 13.8 percent to 13.7 percent.

The report says 189,000 workers were out of work in Nevada. But a top state economist says employers added 10,400 jobs in February, representing the first increase since October. Nevada's statewide unemployment rate in January was 13 percent, the second highest in the nation.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Pinnacle Entertainment Names News President, CEO

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment has named Anthony M. Sanfilippo president and chief executive officer of the casino company.

The 51-year-old Sanfilippo succeeds John Giovenco, who has served as Pinnacle's interim CEO since November 2009. Giovenco will continue to serve on Pinnacle's board. Sanfilippo is a former president, chief executive and board member of Multimedia Games Inc.

Also Monday, Pinnacle announced that Richard Goeglein has been appointed to the position of non-executive chairman. Sanfilippo's appointment is effective immediately. He also has been appointed to Pinnacle's board of directors. Sanfilippo has managed and developed gaming operations in Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana and Nevada. Sanfilippo is buying 125,000 shares of Pinnacle common stock from the company.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nevada Casinos Revenue Down In January

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Casino regulators say Nevada casinos won 3.2 percent less in January than they did in the same month a year ago. But there is a bright spot in a monthly report released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The state collected almost $60 million in casino taxes in February, based on the January "gaming win." That's up almost 27 percent compared with February 2009.

The report follows a dismal 2009 for the state's largest industry. The $10.4 billion won from gamblers last year was down 10.4 percent, and marked the largest calendar year drop in state history. Taxes paid by casinos make up about a third of the state's general fund. The industry has been especially hard hit in the recession gamblers keep a tighter hold on discretionary spending.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)