Friday, March 31, 2006

Apprentice TV Show winner to promote Casino

Randal Pinkett, winner of last season's "The Apprentice", was in the midst of renovating the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City when the Donald, aka Donald Trump, gave him an important new assignment: Go to Philadelphia, and pick up trash.
Actually, Pinkett couldn't make it to Philadelphia last Saturday when Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. staffers participated in a "community cleanup day" in the Nicetown section, where Trump wants to build a casino called TrumpStreet, but the event marked the start of a community-relations campaign in which Pinkett will play a starring role.
"It's part strategy, part public relations, part marketing and part community relations," Pinkett said.
Pinkett will be in Philadelphia Tuesday at an open public forum to hear residents' concerns about the proposed casino. The forum will be at Mercy Vocational High School, 2900 W. Hunting Park Ave., at 6 p.m.
"I'll attend and kind of hear firsthand what some of the issues are," said Pinkett, who was born in Philadelphia and has family in the city. "I want to be part of the conversation that's taking place between Trump Entertainment Resorts and the community."
The following Tuesday, April 11, he will meet in the city with local gaming officials and other decision makers, with more hearings possible.
The Trump organization has faced mounting opposition from residents wary of the casino's potential impact on traffic and safety. Based on community feedback, a movie theater was added to plans for the new complex, said Pinkett, and the organization has reportedly proposed to relocate a high school adjacent to the proposed casino. The company has also pledged to provide a $2 million charitable grant to the neighborhood, Pinkett said.
Pinkett, who as an entrepreneur always has aimed to create socially responsible companies with a "double bottom line," will also educate residents about the economic benefits of the casino. "We're talking about more than 1,000 jobs and $31 million of payroll with an average salary of $31,000 a year," he said. "We're looking to make a significant effort to partner with local minority businesses and women-owned businesses to diversify the supplier base for the TrumpStreet development and look locally to pull from those resources."


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