Commodore Holdings is in negotiations for the purchase of its fourth ship, which will be placed in twice-daily gaming service between San Diego, California and Rosarito, Mexico. Commodore currently owns two ships and charters a third.

Commodore has a letter of intent granting it exclusive rights to the new Rosarito pier for 10 years with the option for an additional 10 years. Pier construction, which has already begun, could be complete by February 1999. At that time, Commodore would open an office in San Diego - which is expected to retain the Commodore brand name - "to serve as a beachhead for additional expansion" on the West Coast.

According to Commodore CEO Fred Mayer, the line is "in the final stages of negotiations to acquire a 1,000-passenger vessel to service the new route." He added that Commodore was reviewing "a number of possibilities."

The operation's primary consumer focus, he explained, will be residents of the greater San Diego area including Orange County, however, air arrivals to San Diego also comprise a significant aspect of the business plan. "Our research shows that gaming cruises, the lure of Rosarito and the host city of San Diego are all large draws which will keep the vessel at profitable levels," said Mayer, adding, "We are making arrangements with a number of airlines and tour operators to offer transportation and pre and post stays in San Diego. We'll also be announcing special packages for stay-overs in Mexico."