Possible legal issue over Pinnacle/Port land lease agreement

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Port Authority went into executive session Monday to discuss threatened litigation concerning the Sugarcane Bay lease.

At this point, Pinnacle still has rights to that lease, but there are stipulations in the agreement determining the course of action if certain things do not happen. At Monday's Port meeting the Board gave Port Director, Bill Rase the authority to seek legal action if Pinnacle refuses to give up the lease agreement.

On top of forfeiting the lease, the Port of Lake Charles wants Pinnacle to pay $10 million in damages. According to Michael Dees, with the Port of Lake Charles, Pinnacle agreed to pay the $10 million and give up the property back in May. But, now that the Port is backing Dan Lee, and Creative Casinos, the Port is saying Pinnacle has changed its position.

"They want to hold on to the lease, and they also want to convey the 50 acres. That would, of course, prevent the location of Creative Casinos, a $400 million resort, next door. $500,000 to $600,000 a year is something that they're willing to pay, in order not have competition next door. That's how we see it," said Michael Dees.

Pinnacle Entertainment and L'Auberge du Lac have released the following statement.

"As a matter of policy, L'Auberge du Lac and Pinnacle Entertainment do not comment on pending litigation," Kerry Andersen, Director of Community & Public Relations.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.