Blackpool: Britain's answer to Las Vegas?

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The Independent Online

Blackpool, which is desperately seeking ways of stimulating its dire low season economy, was yesterday considering proposals which could make it Britain's answer to Las Vegas.

Blackpool, which is desperately seeking ways of stimulating its dire low season economy, was yesterday considering proposals which could make it Britain's answer to Las Vegas.

The seaside resort, which has 5.1 per cent unemployment in winter and a more marked seasonal variation in employment than any resort in Britain, will have six casino hotels if proposals tabled by Leisure Parcs, the owners of its famous tower, are accepted.

The company, which also owns casino operator London Clubs International, claims 25,000 jobs can be created and wants to model Blackpool on Atlantic City in New Jersey, USA, which was also in the doldrums until the late 1970s when the construction of 12 casinos began. Blackpool currently has only two casinos.

"We have a similar population and a similar climate to Atlantic City," said Marc Etches, Leisure Parcs' managing director.

Over the last two years Leisure Parcs has invested more than £10m in Blackpool, but it estimates a £1b regeneration programme will be needed to make it Britain's first casino resort.

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