Casino groups given one week to settle dispute

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Port of Lake Charles passed a resolution giving Pinnacle Entertainment and Creative Casinos one week to settle a dispute between the two groups over a15-acre piece of property, which Pinnacle currently uses as a parking lot, mainly for RVs.

The property sits right between Pinnacle's Lauberge du Lac and the site where Creative Casino's Mojito Pointe will be constructed.

The area was originally designed to be part of the former Sugarcane Bay project, which Pinnacle canceled last year.

Pinnacle wants to continue using the property, but Creative Casinos wants the property for a proposed expanded golf course, which would also mean the hotels would sit closer to one another.

"I think it is best for the long term to get the two hotels close to each other so that customers can walk from one to the other and it makes the construction easier for us," said Creative Casinos CEO Dan Lee. "[And] it's a parking lot they don't use."

On Friday afternoon, the Port passed a resolution giving both sides one week to settle the disagreement amongst themselves. If a settlement cannot be reached, the Port would then decide who gets the property.

The Port said if Pinnacle wants the property, they should drop all litigation claims currently pending against the Port and Dan Lee. They said the litigation only serves to obstruct and delay the Mojito Pointe project.

"It can go another week but we're not going any further beyond that because then [Dan Lee] is in danger of not meeting his [construction] deadlines," said Mike Dees, attorney for the Port of Lake Charles.

No representative for Pinnacle Entertainment was present at Friday's port meeting.

A public option election, in which Calcasieu Parish voters will decide whether they want Mojito Pointe, is scheduled for April 30th.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.