CiCi’s Pizza is betting on Las Vegas as it continues building new locations there for its endless pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet restaurants.

Recently, the company and its franchisees opened the CiCi’s third and fourth Las Vegas locations, with three more planned to launch in 2009.

CiCi’s is expanding despite the city’s current economic downturn, confident that the internationally known resort town and Nevada’s most populated city is ripe for CiCi’s affordable offerings.

Until a few years ago, Las Vegas was known as an affordable getaway. In recent years, prices for food and lodging have risen as an increasing number of posh, upscale hotels, casinos and retail centers grew up from the desert floor.

Now, though, the recent economic downturn is spurring a slew of new hotel and restaurant discounts.

“As the town goes back to its bargain roots during this downturn, we believe more residents and visitors will see the value that CiCi’s has brought to every market where it operates,” said CiCi’s President and CEO Craig Moore. “And when the economy begins to turn around, we expect CiCi’s superior service and endless buffet will remain top of mind to our guests.”

The Las Vegas growth is part of a larger, company wide expansion program slated to result in 1,000 units in 2010.

Founded in 1985, CiCi’s Pizza is a family-oriented restaurant serving guests fresh pizza, pasta, salad and dessert, all you want for about five bucks and change. CiCi’s mission then and now is to exceed each guest’s expectation in food, service and cleanliness at an affordable price.

Since opening its first restaurant in Plano, Texas, CiCi’s has grown to almost 650 restaurants in 30 states.

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