Casino acquisition finalized

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2000

With a $420 million deal complete, &uot;Isle style&uot; is headed to Natchez. Biloxi-based Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed its acquisition of Lady Luck Gaming Corp., which operates Natchez’s only dockside casino.

Lady Luck Natchez Manager Wendy Grandin, who will stay on with Isle of Capri, said she and other employees are excited about the change.

&uot;Isle of Capri is a fun, energetic, growing company,&uot; she said. &uot;To be a part of that growth is exciting.&uot;

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The acquisition puts the eight-year-old Isle of Capri among the 10 largest publicly-held gaming companies in the country. Isle of Capri now owns 10 casinos across the country.

The name change will also mean a change in signage at the hotel and casino in Natchez. Grandin said the company has submitted design changes to the Natchez Preservation Commission which include adding the company’s parrot logo and a thin teal stripe to the outside of the boat, as well as making the awning teal. Isle of Capri calls its brand of decorating and service &uot;Isle style.&uot; The design changes go before the preservation commission March 8.

&uot;The changes on the outside of the boat will be very subtle,&uot; Grandin said.

Grandin said John Martin’s restaurant will continue to be part of the hotel and casino’s operation.

Isle of Capri owns casinos in Tunica, Biloxi, Vicksburg, Louisiana and Colorado. Lady Luck also operated a dockside riverboat casino and hotel in Coahoma County and had a 50 percent interest in a casino and hotel in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Isle of Capri also operates a harness racing track in Pompano Beach, Fla., and the Enchanted Capri cruise ship that sails out of New Orleans.

Isle of Capri considered Natchez for a casino site before. The company had a license for a casino in Natchez in 1991 but did not build one, according to the gaming commission, because the site was not up to par.