Update: For more on the story, click here.
Replying to a request for information on what happened to the announced participation of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in the ribbon cutting for Indiana Live! racino on Friday, Sherry Amos, Marketing Executive with The Cordish Company stated:
“Justin Timberlake was invited by The Cordish Company to attend the VIP party and grand opening of the Indiana Live! Casino on Friday, March 13. An RSVP was received for Mr. Timberlake that he and his guest would attend the festivities. We are unsure as to why there was a change in his plans to attend, but we are hopeful that Mr. Timberlake will still be able to see and enjoy our beautiful entertainment facility in Shelbyville, Indiana, at some time in the near future.”
This still leaves many questions yet to be answered, including:
--If such a well-known celeb was to be part of the opening ceremony, wouldn't someone have known his travel plans and communicated well in advance that he wouldn't be attending? It's not like he was coming in from Greenwood.
--If, in fact, Timberlake was actually planning to attend the ribbon-cutting, when did Indiana Live!, Cordish, and Coles Marketing Communications (the company that issued the original release) find out he would not be there?
--And if that was the case, shouldn't the attending media have had our questions answered on site? More importantly, what of the fans who came out in hopes of seeing Timberlake? They weren't just fans who heard a rumor. They were people responding to news reports sparked by Coles' initial press release, which I've excerpted below:
To cut a ceremonial ribbon and welcome thousands from throughout the region to the new, $200 million Indiana Live! Casino, executives with Indiana Live! Casino, Indiana Downs and management company The Cordish Company will be joined by:
Pop singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake
Actress / model Jessica Biel
Indiana Gaming Commission executive director Bernie Yeltzen
International Speedway Corp.’s Lesa France Kennedy
Shelbyville Mayor Scott Ferguson
More questions--and, I hope, answers--to come.
In the meantime, your thoughts?