New Orleans signs agreement with Harrah’s for new hotel

Miles Hurley Miles Hurley Uploaded 09 March 2020

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US: The city of New Orleans has signed a lease with Harrah’s casino for the creation of a $325 million hotel.

The group were given a 30-year lease on a property at the tip of Canal Street, a short distance from the famous French Quarter.

The group fell into quarrel with the Orleans Parish School board due to the planned site falling on city land. The previous agreements between the casino and the city allowed the school to receive $2 million in lease money each year without any conditions.

Henderson Lewis Jr. the schools superintendent, said: "I would hope that we would continue to fund these programmes, because we are counting on these programmes each and every year.”

With the agreement of the new lease, however, the quarrel has died down. The city has agreed that in exchange for the new land, Harrah’s will pay $6 million into the city each year.

The new hotel will feature 340 rooms, new restaurants and a variety of gaming and entertainment facilities. It intends to complete construction by 2024.

Harrah’s currently holds a monopoly on in-city gaming, being the only entity allowed to run gambling operations within city limits. As a result the amount it must pay out to the state is higher than similar hotel projects would be, as it intends to hold its monopoly until 2054.

New Orleans is a popular spot for development, with the New Orleans and French Quarter hotel collection uniting to form J Collection, and the Windsor Court hotel earning a I Prefer members choice award this year. 

The group had initially signed a land agreement in 1994 for 30 years, with the lease first being renegotiated in 2018. This new agreement ensures that the casino can continue operation, while also ensuring gets its fair cut of revenues.

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