Friday, July 23, 1999

Isle tour packages
lift Boyd Gaming net

By Russ Lynch


Boyd Gaming Helped by strong business from Hawaii, Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. increased its second-quarter profit by 141 percent to $9.7 million, or 16 cents a share, from $4 million, or 7 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

The company said earlier this week that its "standout group" in the Nevada area was its three downtown Las Vegas properties, the California Hotel & Casino, the Fremont Hotel & Casino and Main Street Station.

About two-thirds of the room-nights at the Fremont are purchased by Hawaii residents and they also provide big business for the other two hotels.

Boyd has cultivated relationships with Hawaii tour and travel agents since the California opening in 1975.

Info Box Also contributing to the results was a 33 percent increase in sales at its Hawaii-based package tour subsidiary, Vacations Hawaii.

That business had sales of $10.4 million in the latest quarter, compared with $7.8 million in the 1998 second quarter.

The downtown hotels produced a profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $9.6 million in the latest quarter, up 31.5 percent from $7.3 million in the year-earlier period.

"Definitely Hawaii is an important part of the business," said Boyd spokesman Rob Stillwell.

The figures for the Stardust on the Las Vegas strip were $4 million, down 46.2 percent from $7.1 million, largely because of renovations that closed some rooms.

Boyd's overall revenues were $241.9 million in the April-June quarter, down 1.5 percent from a year-earlier $245.5 million.

Boyd operates casino hotels in Nevada, manages a Native American casino in Mississippi, has agreed to buy a riverboat casino in Indiana and is developing a $750 million casino resort in Atlantic City with Mirage Resorts Inc.

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