Subject: New UL: Arizona resorts pre-wired for casino gambling
From: email@example.com (Greg Franklin)
Here's another entry for the FAQ ftp site. I found it fortuitously on
the front page of the Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Ariz.). This ought to
tell you what we consider newsworthy down here.
In the FAQ file, the closest relative I found was the story of
tobacco companies in the 1960s allegedly anticipating the federal
legalization of marijuana.
Again, the best part of this article comes at the end, when the
befuddled officials try to explain how/why these stories get passed
The Arizona Republic
Saturday, April 3, 1993
VALLEY WIRED FOR CASINOS ONLY A TALE
(Close look finds old rumor untrue)
by Richard Robertson, The Arizona Republic
"Is it true?" the barber asked the man in his chair last week.
"Are the resorts around here already wired for slot machines?"
Gerald Murphy, whose firm, McCarthy Constructors, built the swank
Phoenician and Princess resorts, laughed. "I've been hearing that
question for 10 years!"
So have lots of other people. Not only barbers, but building
inspectors, politicians, cops and resort managers.
The recent debate over reservation casinos has reinvigorated the
Are wires secretly lurking under the floors and in the walls of
Arizona's other major resorts, just waiting for a day when casinos are
The Arizona Republic and News Channel 3's Cameron Harper teamed
up to determine whether the persistent story is true.
The conclusion: it's an urban myth.
"I call it the Great Phoenix Myth because it just isn't true and
it (the story) never goes away," Murphy says.
Someone even called a KTAR Radio talk show last month to ask
developer-turned-governor Fife Symington whether he had pre-wired the
Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He assured the caller he had not.
The Republic and News Channel 3 inspected a number of resorts,
including the Ritz-Carlton, and had experts check blueprints in the
various cities' building departments.
The Princess Resort spent $600 to roll back the carpet in its
main ballroom, so reporters could look underneath.
Scottsdale building officials, William King and Anthony Floyd,
looked over the electrical diagrams for the Princess and other
Scottsdale resorts and concluded no wires or conduit are hiding under
"It's important for people to know that we built this place as a
resort hotel ... not a casino," said Steve Ast, the Princess' general
This is not the first time the rumor has been probed.
Scottsdale Mayor Herb Drinkwater remembers the question being
raised nearly seven years ago.
"The city hired a consultant to go out and look, then we sent our
own inspectors out," he said. "We looked at every resort in the city,
and we found that not a one of them was wired for gambling. Not a
The town of Paradise Valley responded to the rumors in July 1986
by passing an ordinance banning casino-style gambling.
"We decided that rather than try to figure out whether something
was wired for gambling, we would just say there's not going to be any
gambling in our town whether it's wired or not," former Paradise
Valley Mayor Robert Plenge said.
However, it really doesn't make any difference whether the
resorts were pre-wired or not. It is a simple matter to convert an
Exhibit A is the Prescott Sheraton Resort and Conference Center,
the only hotel-casino in the state. The 162-room hotel sits atop a
hill on the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe's reservation, on the eastern edge
Last summer, on the eve of a gaming compact between Arizona and
tribe, the hotel's Bucky O'Neill Lounge became the Bucky O'Neill
Casino & Lounge. (The spelling of Buckey's first name wasn't fixed,
though.) Now, there are 116 slot and video-poker machines filling the
roughly 2,000 square feet that used to be cozy tables, DJ booth and a
dance floor. The bar remains.
"We made the modifications in about 10 days," said William Grace,
whose company, W.M. Grace Construction Co., owns the hotel and
Sheraton franchise. The tribe leases the casino space from him.
Grace said he was certain in 1987 when he was building the hotel
that casino-style gaming on reservations was inevitable. But he didn't
pre-wire the hotel.
"It would be wasted costs to have done it in advance," Grace
said. "Any hotel in Arizona is ready with the power that it already
Grace explained that the electronic gaming machines need minimal
power to operate, so heavy-duty circuits are not needed. It is a
simple matter, he said, to run a few wires through the ceiling and
bring them down through hollow poles to run a whole row of slot
So, why does the rumor about the resorts being wired persist?
"Maybe it seems like fun (to repeat the rumor)," pondered
McCarthy's president. "More than anything else, I don't think anyone
wants to talk about the facts ... and most people really don't
So, what other gaming secrets are lurking out there?
Well, some folks in Prescott say, there's a huge underground
casino beneath the Prescott Sheraton, with a tunnel that connects it
to the nearby Veterans Affairs Hospital ....
Greg "Mockingbird" Franklin "Interracial mixing encompasses a lot lot more
firstname.lastname@example.org than mingling between G7 races." -- robohen