Ameristar Casino project well underway - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ameristar Casino project well underway

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Construction is moving ahead at the site of the Ameristar Casino and hotel complex. And local companies are anxious to find out how they can do business with the company.

Ameristar consultant Mark McMurry says the project will mean 1,500 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.  

He gave an update at the Better Business Bureau Board's "A Business to Business" breakfast Friday morning at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

McMurry says Ameristar is committed to buying locally and using local vendors.

"I think Ameristar is committed to using local businesses. One of the casinos that they operate in Iowa, they've had almost three quarters of all the purchases and supplies and services that they use are used from businesses within the state. I think they're going to make the same commitment to do that here. So the spin off from this goes way beyond just the 1,500 permanent jobs and the local tax revenue that's generated by that," he said.

McMurry says Ameristar is expected to generate about $10 million in tax revenues each year for local government; and up to $60 million for the state.

The project is expected to cost up to $580 million dollars to build and includes a hotel with 700 guest rooms, including seventy suites; a golf course, tennis facilities, resort pool, spa and entertainment space. They're driving pilings at a rate of about thirty a day toward the 2500 in all.

McMurry says the facility will offer tremendous benefits including attractions that will draw locals and those outside the area. "They have grandstands there to allow for exhibitions of tennis matches here I think is a big thing for this community.  Hopefully it'll be able to bring some of the exhibitions in that could get this community, some coverage on ESPN and national networks and such as that.  The resort and pool spa is very similar to what was designed at Mojito Point project," said McMurry.

He says Ameristar will contribute $17 million dollars toward road improvements likely to involve a full interchange at Cove Lane, though road improvements planned are not yet engraved in stone.  "The benefits to the community I think will be huge with that traffic development," said McMurry.

And he says Ameristar and L'Auberge are cooperating toward what will likely be a sort of joint resort. "Clustering and becoming neighbors there is going to create a very large resort destination type area to where both of them should be able to benefit by each other being there.  Competitors yes, but having each of their facilities become part of this resort destination that will continue to bring loads of people in here," said McMurry.

The casino resort is to open in July 2014.  

About six months out Ameristar expects to do a job fair here.  Still, the company encourages those looking for employment or interested in doing business to go online and register.

 For information about careers or doing business with Ameristar, click here.

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