Harrah's Celebrates Opening of N.C. Casino

CHEROKEE, N.C. -- The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. celebrated the opening of the $82 million Harrah's Cherokee Smoky Mountains Casino here with festivities that included a performance by the American Indian Dance Theatre.

The 175,000-square-foot casino complex, which encompasses 37 acres adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the third tribal-owned gaming facility managed by Harrah's and the only facility of its kind between Tunica, Miss., and Atlantic City, N.J.

The casino portion of the complex, which totals 50,000 square feet, includes more than 1,800 video gaming machines.

The property has three restaurants: the Fresh Market Buffet, the Range Steak House and the Winning Streaks Grill.

In addition, the 20,000-square-foot Cherokee Pavilion event center has booked such entertainers as Pat Benatar and the Four Tops.

To reach the casino, the number is (800) HARRAHS or (704) 497-6835.

In other Harrah's news, the company said it is planning to open an all-suite hotel in early 1999 adjacent the Harrah's Joliet riverboat casino in Joliet, Ill. Plans call for the 210-room Harrah's Joliet to include an 8,000-square-foot ballroom, a 3,000-square-foot VIP lounge and a skyway connection bridge to the riverboat complex.

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