The National Indian Gaming
Commission has approved an agreement between the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians and Harrah’s N C Casino Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Harrah’s
Entertainment, Inc. , that extends Harrah’s contract to manage Harrah’s
Cherokee Casino & Hotel for an additional seven years, beginning in
Harrah’s N C Casino Company, LLC, has managed the Tribe’s casino, located
in North Carolina’s Great Smokey Mountains, since November 1997. This
contract extension will continue Harrah’s management of the facility until
“Harrah’s has brought to us their sound employee, customer and financial
practices that are well-known and respected in the casino industry, and we
have learned much from this successful business relationship,” said
Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
“I’m sure Harrah’s has learned from us as well, resulting in a successful
meshing of two cultures. I’m proud that over 50 percent of the casino and
hotel management positions are filled by tribal members, so the next seven
years look very promising for our people.”
“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have achieved tremendous success
with its gaming enterprise and it has been extremely gratifying for
Harrah’s to have been a part of a venture that has brought so much benefit
to the Tribe and to western North Carolina. We are honored by the Tribe’s
decision to extend our management contract for the second time,” said Gary
Loveman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harrah’s Entertainment.
“Over the last six years, we have worked closely with the Tribe to bring
the finest in casino entertainment to the Southeast. We’re committed to
the long-term success of this enterprise.”
The Tribe is currently constructing a 15-story, 324-room hotel tower,
scheduled for completion in April 2005. Once complete, the $60 million
expansion project will give Harrah’s Cherokee a total of 576 hotel rooms.
Last year, Harrah’s signed a seven-year extension of its contract with the
Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians to manage Harrah’s Rincon
hotel-casino near San Diego, California. Harrah’s has also previously
signed management-contract extensions with the Ak-Chin Indian Community in
Arizona and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas.
Founded 66 years ago, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. owns or manages through
various subsidiaries 26 casinos in the United States, primarily under the
Harrah’s brand name. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty
and value with its valued customers through a unique combination of great
service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational
excellence and technology leadership.