Pinnacle talks with lawmakers about stopping Sugarcane Bay - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Pinnacle talks with lawmakers about stopping Sugarcane Bay

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Pinnacle Entertainment's decision to scrap the Sugarcane Bay project came as a shock to many. On Tuesday, local lawmakers met with Pinnacle executives to get some answers.

"All I wanted was an explanation. All the delegation wanted was an explanation for that reasoning," said Louisiana Rep. Charles Kleckley.

"We are disappointed that they are not going to invest the additional money, but who wouldn't be," said Louisiana Senator, Willie Mount.

While lawmakers are disappointed, they do understand why Pinnacle chose to stop construction. The economy was one factor that pushed them to make the decision to back out, but it was not the only factor.

"They felt like the potential of Texas gaming, somewhere down the line, they felt like it would be a risky investment," said Rep. Kleckley.

Management change also came into play. A few months ago, Dan Lee resigned as CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment. New CEO, Anthony Sanfilippo, has a new way of doing things.

"The management's philosophy is different than new management's," said Rep. Kleckley.

"The company felt like they had over extended themselves, not just in Lake Charles, but in other areas as well. I think that the new CEO is a bottom line kind of individual. I thinks he may have felt he was putting L'Auberge in jeopardy. I certainly wouldn't want that to happen," said Louisiana Senator Dan Morrish.

Legislators said Pinnacle has no plans to scale back operations at L'Auberge. Du Lac.

According to Senator Morrish, Pinnacle shareholders agree with Pinnacle's choice to scrap Sugarcane Bay. They said, not long after they decided to scrap the project, Pinnacle's stock went up.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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