Pinnacle Entertainment Project In Baton Rouge
Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the company that owns the Boomtown riverboat casinos in Bossier City and the New Orleans suburb of Harvey, plans to expand its initial project to build a riverboat casino complex to one that also includes a larger hotel, more playing positions for gamblers and a covered parking facility.
Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. is a gaming and hospitality company based in the Las Vegas Valley, Nevada that was created in 1938, and that currently owns and operates casinos all around the United States and Argentina.
The latest statement coming from Pinnacle this Monday points out the important decision of boosting the project $250 million to $357 million after studying the Baton Rouge market, which currently has two riverboats, in an attempt to compete against the Belle of Baton Rouge, owned by Tropicana Entertainment Inc., and the Hollywood Casino, owned by Penn National Gaming Inc.
The new plan features the doubling in size of the casino’s hotel from 100 to 200 rooms, and by adding 257 more playing positions for a total of 1,857, as well as an additional 800-car parking garage, three restaurants, a multi-event center and outdoor festival grounds. Pinnacle said it expects to fund the remaining $343 million budget through cash-on-hand, while the rest of the sum will come from its other properties and a $375 million credit facility that it has not yet used.
Pinnacle CEO Anthony Sanfilippo declared that the expanded scope of their project will address the customer demand with a high-quality entertainment option that will be significantly closer to potential guests, because the “Current market research indicates that a very significant portion of the adult population in Baton Rouge region bypasses two existing gaming options and travels two to three hours to other gaming markets”.
Early this April, Pinnacle reviewed the dropped plans for a $305 million plan to build a second hotel-casino in Lake Charles, which would have been a companion to the current L’Auberge du Lac resort; this site normally leads Louisiana’s 13 riverboat casinos in the amount of money won from gamblers.
But Pinnacle said it also considered the expansion of the scope of its Baton Rouge project, with four groups applying applied for the license that Pinnacle returned to the state after canceling its Lake Charles project. Among these groups, three had envisioned a Lake Charles casino, but current license being the 15th and final riverboat casino license permitted by state law while the plan for this entire project will stand on its feet only after being approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. In March 2010, Pinnacle opened its newest casino, River City, in south St. Louis County, Missouri.11