Pinnacle Entertainment to Start Piling Work for $407M Sugarcane Casino

Fri October 16, 2009 - Southeast Edition
CEG




LAKE CHARES, La. (AP) Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. expects to begin millions of dollars in piling work in October on a proposed $407 million Sugarcane Bay casino-resort in Lake Charles.

The tropical-themed gaming complex will be built next to the L’Auberge du Lac casino-resort, and the two will be connected by a covered walkway.

The state Gaming Control Board earlier this year gave Pinnacle until October to begin work on Sugarcane Bay after the company asked for a delay to wait on credit markets to get better.

Kerry Andersen, a L’Auberge spokesman, said that once Sugarcane Bay is constructed Pinnacle will have a $1 billion investment in Calcasieu Parish.

It also will become the second-largest employer in the parish, with a minimum of 2,000 jobs being generated by the Sugarcane Bay project, Andersen said.

“This is a result of the credit markets easing up. The contracts for the piling pole production and pile driving will go to local companies,’’ she said.

“We are finalizing the contracts right now. They are well-known companies. The pile production contract is worth $6 million. We are still finalizing the pile-driving contract.’’

Andersen said Sugarcane Bay will feature a 400-room hotel with window balconies, a one-story casino riverboat, an entertainment arena, restaurants and retail outlets, and a pool area. She said it will take 18 to 24 months to construct the facility.

“The new hotel is being built with expansion in mind such as we did with our L’Auberge resort. We will be doing the same thing in the design phase of Sugarcane Bay. We are absolutely feeling optimistic about this market,’’ she said.

Pinnacle is negotiating with two contractors about the Sugarcane Bay project: Manhattan Construction of Houston and Yates Construction of Mississippi. Manhattan built L’Auberge. Yates is building a casino complex for Pinnacle in St. Louis

A decision will be made on the general contractor by December or January, Andersen said.

Pinnacle also is building a casino in Baton Rouge. In Louisiana, Pinnacle also owns Boomtown riverboat casinos in Bossier City and the New Orleans suburb of Harvey.