Saturday, Jan. 3, 1998 | 3:51 a.m.
* NO START DATE FOR HOTEL-CASINO AT GALLERIA -- A contractor, Southwest Engineering, may have jumped the gun when it issued a news release saying ground breaking is scheduled for March for the $125 million Santa Fe Valley hotel-casino designed to be connected to the Galleria Mall in Henderson. The developer, Santa Fe Gaming Corp. of Las Vegas, has yet to obtain financing or city of Henderson approval for the 300-room project. The groundbreaking date is "still open," said Andrew Klebanow, Santa Fe vice president of marketing. Southwest Engineering, meantime, said its work for Santa Fe and a new contract for Real Homes Inc. at Tropical Parkway and Revere will help finance its new Las Vegas headquarters building that is scheduled to begin early this year.
* LV FIRM BUYS DINNER THEATER COMPANY -- On Stage Entertainment Inc., producer of the Legends in Concert shows in Las Vegas, said it bought a dinner theater company as part of its national acquisition strategy. On Stage said it paid $14 million in cash and stock for Gedco Inc., which has $15.7 million in annual revenue from operations in Orlando and Southern California.
* GOVERNOR AVOIDS FRENCH FRY ISSUE -- Gov. Bob Miller didn't issue a proclamation requested by Burger King declaring today Free FryDay in honor of its promotion in which its new fries will be given away. Governors nationwide were asked to designate today Free FryDay, and at least 11 complied in some fashion, the Wall Street Journal reported. A Miller spokesman said the governor's office didn't reject the request, but chose not to act on it.
* FIRST SECURITY EXPANDS SECURITIES BUSINESS -- First Security Bank's parent company, First Security Corp. of Salt Lake City, said the Federal Reserve approved expansion of its municipal revenue bond business. A new subsidiary, First Security Capital Markets, also will underwrite and distribute issues of consumer receivable-backed and mortgage-backed securities.
* FOOD DISTRIBUTOR'S STOCK PLUNGES -- Shares of Fresh America Corp. -- which in May opened a Las Vegas distribution center -- fell 21 percent after the food distributor said fourth-quarter earnings will miss analyst estimates because of higher costs, charges to close plants and lower-than-expected sales. The Dallas company said it expects to report net income of 25 cents to 30 cents a share, compared with the average estimate of 46 cents from three analysts surveyed by IBES International Inc. The company supplies fresh produce and other foods to stores through a nationwide distribution network. The company had lower-than-expected sales from Wal-Mart's Sam's Club chain, which still accounts for more than half of its revenue, an analyst said.
* NEW LV PIZZERIA -- Mamma Ilardo's Corp. of Baltimore said it opened a pizzeria in the Rainbow Promenade shopping complex on North Rainbow Boulevard -- its fifth location in Las Vegas.
* STAFFING FIRM CHANGES NAME -- Talent Tree Staffing Services of Houston, which has a Las Vegas operation, said it changed its name to Initial Staffing Services, Talent Tree Staffing. The name was changed to tie the company with its parent, Rentokil Initial of London.
* SUMMERLIN CONTRACT AWARDED -- Pentacore Engineering of Las Vegas said it won a surveying, civil design and construction planning contract for Summerlin Village 14B. Pentacore also announced the hiring of engineer Daniel Knott as vice president to head its airport and selected master planned community projects.
To contact the SUN business news desk, call Steve Green at 259-4083 or e-mail [email protected]