Park Place Appointment for Gulfport

LAS VEGAS, July 8, 2003 - Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), parent company of Mississippi`s Grand Casinos, today announced the appointment of William I. Wright as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Grand Casino Gulfport, one of the premier hotel casino resorts on the Gulf Coast.
“Bill has a distinguished record as a property leader responsible for both gaming and non-gaming operations.  During his 16-year career with us, he has supervised divisions and departments during periods of rapid industry growth and technical change.  He also has been an active leader in community charitable and civic projects, which is important to Park Place,” said Anthony F. Santo, senior vice president for the company`s Western and Mid-South regions, to whom Wright will report.

“I`m excited about this opportunity to work on the Gulf Coast with the exceptional team of Grand Casinos associates,” said Wright.  “Grand Gulfport`s beach location, its new event center and beautiful facilities have helped build a loyal clientele from both the local area and visitors.  I look forward to working with the Grand Casinos team to continue to offer the best customer experience and workplace environment in Gulfport.”

Wright`s appointment at Grand Gulfport is effective July 13, in tandem with application for appropriate regulatory approval.

Wright, 39, has had management positions with Park Place resorts since 1987, most recently serving as vice president of hotel operations for Bally`s Las Vegas, a position he has held since November 2001.  Prior to joining Bally`s, Wright was the company`s executive in charge of the Flamingo Reno and Reno Hilton.  He held senior management positions at the two Reno properties for five years, beginning in March 1996.

Wright began his 17-year career as manager of hotel convention services at the Salt Lake City Hilton in February of 1985.  He moved to the Flamingo Las Vegas in January 1987, where he held various management positions through March 1996.  During his management tenure there, the popular center-Strip resort more than doubled its hotel guest room inventory and underwent major renovations, including the addition of a five-acre tropically themed garden with tiered lagoon swimming pools and wildlife habitat.


Wright was a member of the 2001 Board of Directors for the United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra, which serves the communities of Reno, Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas. At the Flamingo Las Vegas, he was the resort`s United Way Campaign Coordinator from 1992 through 1995 and a United Way Loaned Executive in 1992. 

Wright also was a member of the host committee for the American Hotel and Motel Association Convention in 1998. In 1996-97, he served as Vice President for the Hospitality Association of Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe.  Recognizing his work with young professionals, the University of Nevada Las Vegas named Wright its 1994 Mentor of the Year. 

Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Wright moved at age 10 to Salt Lake City, where he graduated from Olympus High School.  In 1990, he received a bachelor of science degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and, in 2000, received a master of business administration degree from the University of Nevada Reno.

He and his wife Lisa plan to relocate to the Gulfport area with their three children.

About Grand Casino Gulfport: Grand Casino Gulfport is a 1,000-room beachfront casino resort on the scenic Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In addition to its elegant hotel rooms and suites, Grand Gulfport is the popular home of one of the South`s most beautiful swimming pool facilities—a 3-acre tropically designed waterpark, with a Lazy River pool surrounding outdoor swimming pools, waterfalls and whirlpool spas.  At Grand Gulfport, guests enjoy 7 distinct restaurants and cafes, a 2,500-seat entertainment/event center, Voodoo Groove nightclub, world-class health spa, 12,000 square-foot conference center, a nearby 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, deep sea fishing aboard the company`s 50-foot sport fishing yacht, Kids Quest supervised children`s adventure center and teen arcade, and 85,000 square-foot 24-hour casino.  Information and hotel reservations are available online at or by phone, 800-354-2450.
Park Place Entertainment is one of the world`s leading gaming companies. Park Place owns, manages or has an interest in 27 gaming properties operating under the Caesars, Bally`s, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brand names with a total of approximately two million square feet of gaming space, 29,000 hotel rooms and 54,000 employees worldwide.