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HomeNewsArchivesCASINO SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT ST. CROIX

CASINO SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT ST. CROIX

Just building a casino on a Caribbean island doesn’t mean gamblers will come, it takes marketing. And the owners of the soon-to-be opened casino at St. Croix’s Divi Carina Bay Resort are working to get the word out.
Along with the Virgin Islands’ traditional northeast United States market, the casino will advertise "a little" in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and other Caribbean islands, said Al Jenkins, casino club manager.
Grapetree Shores Inc. owns the Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino. The company has leased the gambling operation to Treasure Bay V.I. Corp., a local affiliate of Treasure Bay Corp., which operates a large casino in Biloxi, Miss. And Treasure Bay, which for the time being is marketing separate from the resort, fully intends to use its existing resources in the south to bring people to St. Croix.
"We’re already plugged into people who run junkets because of the Biloxi operation," Jenkins said. "But we also do traditional marketing like any other property on island.
"There’s a lot of unchartered territory here," he continued. "(Gaming) has never been done before."
The casino’s ace-in-the-hole, however, will be in the southern states stretching from Louisiana to South Carolina, said Terry Hogan, director of human resources at the casino.
"We have a huge following in the southeast," Hogan said. "There are regular visitors of Treasure Bay who are dying to come here."
Meanwhile, the casino will add an amenity that doesn’t currently exist on St. Croix – a 500-seat banquet-meeting facility geared to everything from business functions, civic organizations and political groups. Allan Mallory, general manager of the resort casino, said the ground-floor meeting area will be available to both off- and on-island groups that require a large meeting room and food service.
"We want to be able to provide a place where people can host their guests. With room for dinners, business meetings and break-outs," Mallory said. "And then they can go upstairs to the casino and get in on some action.
"We’ve already had a number of people call and book the banquet room," he said.
The casino is set to open early next month, Mallory said. Currently, construction crews are finishing work on the casino’s ceilings and light fixtures. Next week finish carpentry will begin and slot machine bases and gaming tables will be installed.
The work being done on the casino’s second-floor interior is now on its second round, said casino manager Michael Ratner. Hurricane Lenny virtually destroyed the second floor of the in-progress casino in November and subsequently blew away a Dec. 15 opening.
The remodeled Divi Carina Bay Resort reopened on Nov. 3, a few weeks before Hurricane Lenny struck the island. The resort, on Grapetree Bay on St. Croix’s southeast shore, had stood derelict since 1989's Hurricane Hugo. The totally remodeled resort will be managed by a Divi Resorts affiliate and features 126 oceanfront rooms in the main hotel and 20 one-bedroom suites in four hillside villas.
The two-story casino will have 275 slot machines, 10 blackjack tables, two roulette tables and one craps table, a buffet, snack bar and gift shop. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m seven days a week.

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