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Gateway TVs win starring role in Vegas

The PC maker will supply 7,000 TVs to developer Wynn Resorts for a new hotel, a deal that bolsters Gateway's relatively new effort to change itself into a consumer electronics brand.

Gateway will supply 7,000 televisions to luxury hotel developer Wynn Resorts for a new hotel, in an agreement Gateway says is one of the largest of its kind to date.

Poway, Calif.-based Gateway said Thursday that the Wynn Las Vegas, a new $2 billion luxury hotel scheduled to open in April 2005, will use the flat screen televisions to add to its opulence. Each of the 45-story hotel's 2,698 rooms will be equipped with as many as four Gateway TVs.

The living area of a typical room will be fitted with a 30-inch Gateway LCD TV, and the bathroom will feature a 13-inch model. Fancier suites will get extra gear; each will include a 50-inch Gateway plasma TV and multiple DVD players, along with smaller-size TVs in all bathrooms. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wynn agreement bolsters Gateway's relatively new effort to transform itself from a PC maker into a consumer electronics brand. As part of that plan, the company has expanded its selection of Gateway flat screen televisions and added new gear, including MP3 players, digital cameras and DVD players. Gateway rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard are also trying to snatch business from traditional consumer electronics companies such as Sony and Samsung.

"It's gratifying that Gateway's been selected for such an enormous undertaking," Gateway CEO Ted Waitt said in a statement regarding the Wynn deal. "It demonstrates just how much traction our new strategy is getting."

Because flat screen televisions are currently more profitable to sell than PCs, the TVs have already helped Gateway boost its bottom line in several quarters, the company has indicated.

But Gateway is still facing financial turmoil. The company said Monday that it expects to report a fourth-quarter operating loss, along with revenue of about $880 million. The new revenue figure falls short of the company's previous expectation of $925 million to $975 million, set in October.

Despite the fourth-quarter performance, Gateway has said it believes it will add new customers over time and increase its sales of electronics products, a measure that will help it return to profitability.

Wynn Resorts may ultimately purchase other products from Gateway, a Gateway representative said, and the PC maker will collaborate with Wynn on the design of future gadgets.