DANIA, FL: SunCruz Casinos has appointed Qorvis Communications to
launch a dollars 2 million campaign involving PR, government affairs and
IR, in a bid to reach a younger audience.
After an extensive, 35-agency search, SunCruz tapped Qorvis in
Alexandria, VA, as its agency of record. Ben Waldman, SunCruz's
president looked at a number of companies who had previously worked with
casinos and tourism.
Qorvis' appointment will rekindle a number of old relationships. Qorvis'
managing partner Michael Petruzello knew Waldman when the latter headed
the White House out-reach program during the Reagan Administration.
Petruzello also knows Jack Abramoff, an entertainment lawyer with the
Washington office of Greenberg & Traurig, who also sits on SunCruz's
Republican ties are even stronger with Sun-Cruz chairman Adam Kidnan who
was chairman of the Young Professionals for Bush in 1988. Qorvis' Judy
Smith served as deputy press secretary in the Bush administration.
SunCruz, a casino day cruise company, operates out of 11 Florida
The cruises take passengers into international waters, thereby letting
SunCruz operate without a gaming license.
According to SunCruz spokesman Joe Weber, the cruises provide much more
than gambling opportunities. They have a strong entertainment element,
he explained, with live music and meals. While many people think the
cruises are aimed at seniors, Weber said a new target is much younger.
In fact, a new ship is being launched to coincide with Spring Break.
Qorvis may find it has its work cut out for it. According to a January 8
article in the St. Petersburg Times, SunCruz employees used strong-arm
tactics to retrieve boats from former partners of Gus Boulis, founder of
SunCruz. The cruise company has filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the
original owners from using those assets which SunCruz claims belong to