LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Published: Thursday, March 30, 1995
Edition: THIRD
Section: MONEY
Page: C1

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#ART:

The opening of the River City casino complex was greeted with rainy skies Wednesday night on the riverfront, but that didn't dampen the size of the crowd.  A pre-opening party in the late afternoon was packed with invited guests, who had a chance to mingle and try out the slot machines, top, aboard the Grand Palais before the general crowd boarded at night.  Above left, developer Christoper Hemmeter greets guests at the party.   Above right, people make their way through the rain to the casino.

River City, a $207 million, two-boat venture of Hemmeter and Capital Gaming International, is upriver from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.  Its two riverboats, the Grand Palais and Crescent City Queen, had 1,100 slots each at the opening but will operate 1,225 slots after a small area in each boat is wired.  The riverboats also have 50 gaming tables. [COLOR]

2 STAFF PHOTOS BY MATT ROSE



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