|UNCASVILLE, Conn., Nov. 16, 2006 - Mohegan Sun, the Northeast's premier
entertainment destination in southeastern Connecticut, announced today
plans for an estimated $740 million expansion. The cornerstone of Project
Horizon will be a new 1,000-room hotel, expected to feature a unique House
of Blues experience including 300 House of Blues-themed hotel rooms, which
will be owned and operated by Mohegan Sun, and an exclusive, members-only
House of Blues Foundation Room(TM) to be located on the upper floors of
the new hotel. House of Blues is a Live Nation Brand. Other highlights
of the new House of Blues experience at Mohegan Sun would include a House
of Blues Music Hall, restaurant, retail outlet, and poker room. Project
Horizon also calls for 115,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant
space and the new 64,000-square-foot "Casino of the Wind." In addition,
Mohegan Sun will expand its Asian gaming in the Casino of the Earth.
thrilled to unveil the next phase of our evolution," said Bruce Bozsum,
Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. "The future of the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan
Sun shines bright, as we continue to develop as an overall entertainment
destination and position Mohegan Sun as an industry leader. Our Project
Horizon will further expand upon our cultural heritage and traditions to
offer our customers a spectacular, one-of-a-kind experience in the Northeast."
With construction set to begin in the summer of 2007 on the new hotel
and casino, Project Horizon is expected to add more than 1.4 million square
feet to Mohegan Sun's existing structure.
Project Horizon is also expected to inject 1,400 construction jobs
and 1,500 permanent jobs into the economy of southeastern Connecticut.
The total number of slot machines at Mohegan Sun is projected to increase
to 7,600 units complemented by 385 table games.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, as the owner and operator of Mohegan
Sun, plans to finance the project through a new $1.0 billion revolving
credit facility from a syndicate of financial institutions and commercial
banks. The facility is expected to close in December 2006.
"This is a very exciting time in the history of Mohegan Sun," said
Mitchell Etess, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohegan Sun. "We're
thrilled to welcome House of Blues here at Mohegan Sun, an arrangement
that is designed to bring together two leading entertainment destinations
at one location. We continue to revolutionize the entertainment landscape
in the Northeast and bring unique and exciting options to our guests."
Project Horizon also is expected to strengthen Mohegan Sun's core competitive
advantage in the marketplace, and customer-friendly ease of access, with
the addition of 3,600 new surface and valet parking spaces outside the
new hotel tower.
"We have worked tirelessly with the architects and designers to organically
and seamlessly expand the existing facility while honoring the past culture
and future generations of the Mohegan Tribe," added Etess.
Over the years, we have created the premier entertainment destination
in North America and continue to build unparalleled guest loyalty."
The design of Project Horizon is a collaborative effort by several
of the world's most renowned firms, including Wimberly Allison Tong &
Goo (WATG), architects of Mohegan Sun's dramatic exterior, and the Rockwell
Group, in charge of creating the Mohegan-inspired design for the new gaming
space, hotel lobby, retail and dining areas.
"The Source," a concept with special meaning to the Mohegan Tribe,
served as the inspiration for the designs of Project Horizon. Water, the
ultimate source of life, will act as a key design feature. In the new hotel
lobby, a reflecting pool will evoke the spirits of the sea, earth and sky,
while thirteen springs will represent the new generations that will prosper
from the Tribe's vision.
The new hotel experience at Mohegan Sun will boast luxurious one-of-a-kind
accommodations. For guests staying in a House of Blues room, a separate
House of Blues registration area will greet them upon their arrival. The
new hotel, owned and operated by Mohegan Sun, is expected to feature a
20,000-square-foot Mandara Spa and 6,000-square-foot Kids Quest II child
care center. The hotel will open in two phases -- the 700 Mohegan Sun rooms
are expected to open in the spring of 2010, and 300 House of Blues rooms
are expected to open in the summer of 2010.
The new 1,500 capacity House of Blues Music Hall would feature live
music from a wide variety of musical genres, while the 300-seat casual
dining restaurant would offer unique regional and international cuisine
and traditional southern-inspired favorites such as Creole Seafood Jambalaya,
Pan-Seared Voodoo Shrimp with Rosemary Cornbread and White Chocolate Banana
Bread Pudding. These venues are expected to open in the autumn of 2009.
"Mohegan Sun is one of the most extraordinary gaming and entertainment
destinations in the U.S.," said Greg Trojan of House of Blues. "To collaborate
with the Mohegan Tribe in this new endeavor provides Live Nation and House
of Blues a remarkable opportunity to showcase our unique brand of hospitality
and entertainment in a premier setting. We are honored to be playing such
an integral part in the Project Horizon expansion."
"I have personally been promoting concerts in Connecticut for over
35 years, bringing the biggest artists in the world to this great state,"
said Jim Koplik, President of Live Nation Connecticut. "To be able to finally
promote club shows at the most respected club venue brand in the world
will be hugely beneficial for both the artist community and the music fans
who love coming to see live entertainment at Mohegan Sun."
Connecting the new hotel tower to the existing hotel at Mohegan Sun
as well as the winter section of the Casino of the Earth will be a total
of 115,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space. This addition
will consist of an 11,500-square-foot Japanese restaurant with 200 seats,
9,000-square-foot American contemporary restaurant with 175 seats, 10,000-square-foot
family-style Italian restaurant with 200 seats, 3,000-square-foot Burger
Bar with 90 seats, and three quick-serve food outlets totaling 5,800 square
The new retail and restaurant area will also be complemented by 40,430
square feet of new retail space and a 30,000-square-foot adult recreation
lounge featuring bowling and billiards. The new restaurant and retail component
is slated to open in fall 2009.
The new Casino of the Wind will be located adjacent to the Casino of
the Sky, and its design will include 42,000 square feet of gaming space
with over 900 slot machines, 10 table games and a specially-themed House
of Blues poker room with 45 tables (operated by Mohegan Sun). Other amenities
would include: a 2,700-square-foot retail outlet; 4,000-square-foot quick-serve
dining venue; and a 15,000-square-foot, multi-level, high-energy, branded
restaurant/bar. The Casino of the Wind is expected to open in the spring
Meanwhile, in the Casino of the Sky, a new Mexican-themed dining venue
is expected to open outside the Convention Center. This establishment would
be owned and operated by the Cornerstone Restaurant Group, which currently
operates Michael Jordan's Steak House and Michael Jordan's 23 Sportcafe
at Mohegan Sun.
With Project Horizon, Mohegan Sun will also expand the gaming experience
for its Asian clientele. Located in the Autumn section of the Casino of
the Earth, the new Asian gaming area is designed to feature a 5,000-square-foot
bus lobby, 4,000-square-foot "Hong Kong" Street food outlet and 12,000-square-foot
gaming floor offering 46 table games such as Baccarat, Sic Bo and Pai Gow
Poker. The area is scheduled to open in the summer of 2007.
In order to provide guests with the best dining options available,
Mohegan Sun has partnered with Elizabeth Blau & Associates, a highly
successful Las Vegas-based strategic restaurant planning and development
Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, is one of
the largest, most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping
and meeting destinations in the United States. Situated on 240 acres along
the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is within
easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15
minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country.
What began with the Casino of the Earth in 1996 has evolved into a legendary
destination that now includes: the Casino of the Sky and over 300,000 square
feet of total gaming space; The Shops at Mohegan Sun, featuring more than
60 retail shops and dining venues; the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena for
world-class sporting events and concerts; an intimate Cabaret Theatre;
and a 34-story luxury hotel, featuring 1,200 guestrooms and suites, premier
meeting and convention space and a world-class spa.
About the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Authority is an instrumentality
of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, a federally recognized
Indian tribe with an approximately 507-acre reservation situated in southeastern
Connecticut, adjacent to Uncasville, Connecticut. The Authority has been
granted the exclusive power to conduct and regulate gaming activities on
the existing reservation of the Tribe, including the operation of Mohegan
Sun, a gaming and entertainment complex that is situated on a 240-acre
site on the Tribe's reservation and, through its subsidiary, Downs Racing,
LP, owns and operates Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a harness racetrack
located in Plains Township, Pennsylvania and five OTW facilities located
elsewhere in Pennsylvania. The Tribe's gaming operation at Mohegan Sun
is one of only two legally authorized gaming operations in New England
offering traditional slot machines and table games.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Some information included in this press release contains forward-looking
statements, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of
1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.