Phoenix Leisure Corporation (VSE: PLS) today announced the purchase of a gaming riverboat vessel through itís wholly owned subsidiary, Phoenix Leisure, Inc. from Park Place Entertainment Corporation, the gaming operations spin-off of Hilton Hotels Corporation. The riverboat, formerly operating as the Northern Belle in Windsor, Ontario was one of the highest-grossing gaming riverboats in North America after its debut adjacent to the Casino Windsor in December 1995. The cash purchase price for the vessel is US $2.2 million, subject to the approval of the purchase and sale agreement by the Vancouver Stock Exchange.
"This acquisition represents one of the key building blocks in our plans to pursue a casino resort development in the vibrant Mississippi Gulf Coast market," announced Eric L. Nelson, Chairman of the Board and President of Phoenix Leisure Corporation. "This strategic purchase along with last yearís procurement of the land lease and purchase option of approximately 30 acres on the Gulf Coast now allows us to move forward with the licensing application and to procure financing in order to bring an exciting new project to this desirable location," Mr. Nelson added.
The riverboat vessel, built in 1994, has a capacity for 1,500 passengers, 828 slot machines, 38 table games and contains approximately 23,000 square feet of gaming space. Phoenix Leisure will begin making preparations to move the vessel from its current location in Windsor, Ontario to its development site near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. This beachfront site is just west of Gulfport/Biloxi and the development would become the closest Mississippi gaming resort to the New Orleans metropolitan area and the growing population centers along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. Mr. Nelson further commented, "With a purchase price that is significantly below the appraised replacement value, the acquisition of this quality asset will help us improve our return on investment for the project while still meeting Mississippiís stringent standards for new development."
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Phoenix Leisure Corporation is an emerging developer and operator of niche opportunities in the gaming, hospitality and entertainment industry. Phoenix Leisure Corporationís Chairman of the Board and President, Eric L. Nelson previously developed dockside gaming facilities in Greenville and Tunica, Mississippi.
Contact: Ms. Deborah Hawkins, Chief Financial Officer: (702) 739-0400, Fax (702) 795-8101
PHOENIX LEISURE CORPORATION
On behalf of the Board of Directors
________"Eric L. Nelson"________
Eric L. Nelson
Chairman of the Board and President
The Vancouver Stock Exchange has not reviewed this news release and does not accept responsibility for its accuracy.