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Web posting was wrong, gambling ship company says

Titan Cruise Line officials say they do have financing for a ship.

By BRYAN GILMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 8, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- The people working to bring a gambling ship to the Port of St. Petersburg say it was all a mistake.

Early Tuesday, their company, Titan Cruise Line, was featured on the Web site venture-capitalist.com as "Today's Featured Entrepreneur."

The Web page at that link said Titan was seeking $25-million in venture capital to bring a cruise ship to St. Petersburg.

Even more startling, under the heading "assets," the page listed "$0" for Titan.

Titan officials said Tuesday they were unaware of the Web posting, and that they have all the financing they need.

Last month, they announced plans to bring a 450-foot ship to the port this spring for two daily cruises to the Gulf of Mexico. Gambling is not regulated there, so the ship will feature a casino, dining and other entertainment, they said.

They also said they had bought the ship, and that it was being refitted in Europe. But they would not disclose the previous name of the ship, or say exactly where it was being refitted.

Nevada-based Brigadoon Capital Partners has financed the project through undisclosed investors around the nation, Titan chief financial officer Paul Barbour said.

Barbour said Tuesday's online posting seemed to describe an early attempt to finance a much different version of the Titan cruise ship project. "That's two years ago. That information is definitely not accurate," he said.

The posting listed Grady Smith of G Star Financial in Savannah, Ga., as a contact. When contacted by the St. Petersburg Times, Smith said said he had posted the item to the Web site more than a year ago, and the site inexplicably featured it Tuesday.

Smith said he had not worked on the project or spoken to anyone with Titan for about a year.

"I'm glad that they found financing," he said.

Soon after the interview, the item was removed as the featured item on the Web site.

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