Splendors of the Orient: New Grand gaming rooms opens

Today is theopening of Harrah's Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel and Spa's new Asiangaming area and noodle bar.

This is the first major addition to the casino since it reopenedafter Hurricane Katrina in August 2006, said Karen Sock, the Grand'sgeneral manager.

The area is located off the casino floor next to the buffet. Mondaynight some of the best Total Rewards players from the Houston marketwere invited to dinner, and they will join today's festivities, whichinclude a ribbon cutting and a ceremonial lion dance thattraditionally brings luck and prosperity.

"It's the first room of this type in the market," said Sock. "This isa vibrant and very important segment of our business." Harrah'sinvested several million dollars to create the Asian bistro andgambling area with six table games, she said.

Similar Asian gaming rooms were built at three Harrah's properties inAtlantic City — Caesars, Bally's and the Showboat — and at Harrah'sLake Tahoe, said Sock. Using feng shui, the designer who worked atseveral Harrah's properties gave the room clean lines and high-endfinishes such as Chinese terra cotta tiles and etched stone.

Abundant accents of gold, the Asian color of luck, were used in theroom where guests play at the one blackjack, two pai gow and threemini-baccarat tables.

The Cuu Long Souper Pho noodle bar serves steaming bowls of noodlesand rice with chicken, duck, pork and beef, along with spring and eggrolls and flavored bubble tea.

"It's a unique experience," Sock said. "I'd love for people to cometake a look at it."

The table games are open 24 hours a day and the noodle bar from 11a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 24 hours Thursday throughSunday.