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Benchmark Opens French Lick Resort Casino
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$382 Million Restoration, Casino Development Project
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, November 3, 2006 ... Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that French Lick Resort Casino, located in French Lick, Indiana, has officially opened.  The circa 1845 resort opened with a VIP ribbon cutting on October 31 at the main entrance to the new French Lick Casino.  The official public opening occurred today, November 3, following Indiana Gaming Commission approval.

The opening of French Lick Resort Casino signals a major milestone in the $382 million resort restoration and casino development project.  Following the ribbon-cutting, the official first dollar was played on one of the new casino's 1,200 slot machines. 

The landmark property, which includes the historic French Lick Springs Hotel (circa 1901), restored to the grandeur of its storied past, is expected to become a signature Midwestern destination resort.  French Lick Resort Casino also includes the West Baden Springs Hotel (circa 1902), which boasted the largest free-span dome in the world until the Astrodome was built in 1965. The hotel is also being restored and expected to reopen in May of next year. 

The 1917 Donald Ross Golf Course at French Lick Resort Casino reopened in September -- the first of three championship golf courses to open at the resort.  Benchmark is also developing the Pete Dye Course at French Lick, slated to open in the spring of 2008, and the 9-hole Tom Bendelow Course, which will open in the spring of 2007, creating an unparalleled golfing destination with 45 holes.
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L to R: 
Carl Cook, Cook Group, Owner
Adina Cloud, President of Historic Hotels Preservation Commission
Jerry Denbo, State Representative
James Carnes, West Baden, Indiana, Town Council 
Barry Wininger, French Lick, Indiana, Town Council
Geneva Street, Orange Shirt Representative
Ernest Yeltson, Commissioner, Indiana Gaming Commission
Bob Lauth, Lauth Property Group Inc., Owner
Steve Ferguson, Chairman, Cook Group, Owner
Off camera, Sam Haigh, President & COO, Benchmark Hospitality International
Off camera, Chris Leininger, General Manager at French Lick Casino

French Lick Resort Casino is a $382 million historic restoration and casino development project that includes the French Lick Springs Hotel, the new French Lick Casino and the West Baden Springs Hotel (opening May 2007).  Upon completion, this premier resort and casino destination will feature 684 guest rooms and suites; an 84,000-square-foot casino with a 42,000-square-foot, single-level gaming floor; 45 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick (reopened in September 2006) and the new, 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick (opening spring 2008); two full-service spas with a combined 36 treatment rooms totaling 41,000 square feet; and an array of dining and entertainment options. For more information, please visit www.frenchlick.com or 1-888-MyHideaway (888-694-4332).  French Lick Resort Casino is operated by Benchmark Hospitality International.

Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts both domestically and internationally.  For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark's Website at www.benchmarkhospitality.com. 

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Contact:

 Benchmark Hospitality International
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas
www.benchmarkhospitality.com

Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax
KenEllens@aol.com

Christopher Stolarski, 
Borshoff Johnson Matthews
317-631-6400
cstolarski@bjmpr.com

Dyan Welsh, Public Relations Manager
French Lick Resort Casino
812-936-5926
dwelsh@benchmarkmanagement.com

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Also See: Benchmark Hospitality International Takes Over Management the French Lick Springs Resort / April 2005
Benchmark Completes Restoration of Historic Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort Casino; First of Three Championship Courses at Resort Destination to Open / September 2006


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