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Construction in Lake Charles, La., Expanding Old Casino into a First-Class Venue

Mon February 14, 2022 - Southeast Edition
American Press & KPLC-TV


The all-new Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles is being reinvented with new amenities and gaming offerings. In addition, Caesars will offer a completely new entertainment, dining and hotel experience. (Caesars image)
The all-new Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles is being reinvented with new amenities and gaming offerings. In addition, Caesars will offer a completely new entertainment, dining and hotel experience. (Caesars image)

Caesars Entertainment is planning to open a new casino in Lake Charles, La., at the site of the former Isle of Capri gaming riverboat resort.

The construction and renovation project follows the forced closure of Isle of Capri due to the pandemic, and damage from Hurricane Laura, one of the most powerful in U.S. history, in 2020.

The all-new Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles is being reinvented with new amenities and gaming offerings. In addition, Caesars will offer a completely new entertainment, dining and hotel experience.

The transformation is already under way, according to Jeff Favre Sr., vice president and general manager of Caesars Entertainment's Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles.

"When Isle of Capri shut down amid the COVID-19 panic, we had no idea it wouldn't reopen again for more than two years," Favre explained to KPLC-TV in Lake Charles. "Between the pandemic and the destruction wrought by Hurricane Laura, the challenges our team members have faced are unparalleled. I'm thrilled to take this dynamic step forward toward getting our team members back to work serving our guests."

Louisiana State Sen. Jeremy Stine and State Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns toured the construction site in early February, the American Press in Lake Charles reported.

"I was very impressed," Johns remarked to the news outlet. "It's a first-class casino operation, much nicer, bigger and safer compared to the riverboat."

Favre said the new building will be about 110,000-sq.-ft. in size, with about 63,000-sq.-ft. of that being gaming space.

"The 253-room Tower Hotel will be completely remodeled and connected to the new land casino," he added.

Johns said that was the purpose of the state's Senate Bill 316 in 2018: To not just build Louisiana's casinos on land, but to also offer entertainment, restaurants and, most importantly, a safer venue.

"The concern with the legacy riverboats was that [they] might be hit by an out-of-control ship or barge," he explained.

The legislation allowed Louisiana's riverboat casinos to move 1,200 ft. — about the length of four football fields — onto land from their designated berth space. The bill was later signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

"I was honored to tour the new Horseshoe Casino with Lemoine Construction [based in Louisiana] and Horseshoe Casino management," Stine told American Press. "This is one of the most exciting property developments here in southwest Louisiana, with stunning views of our lakefront. It's another example of our commitment to bringing back jobs and securing economic vitality for our community."

He said the economic impact of the project is already being realized.

"Over $150 million dollars is being spent in our region on construction costs," Stine continued. "Once completed, those costs will exceed over $200 million. Currently, there are over 250 jobs already filled for the construction of the casino. That number of jobs will grow to over 600 permanent jobs once it's complete."

The building of Caesars' Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles project is a joint effort between two Louisiana contractors, Lemoine and Ryan Gootee General Contractors in Metairie, La.

Favre said he expects the casino to open by the end of the year.

"We are excited to return to operations in Lake Charles in fall 2022 with an all-new resort experience, introducing our iconic Horseshoe brand," noted Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, to KPLC-TV. "Our growing pledge to Louisiana and the region's growth continues with this investment, and we are proud to lead in the recovery of Lake Charles and its community."




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