LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) board of directors approved participation in the funding of the Cove Lane project at the request of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the City of Lake Charles, the Port of Lake Charles and members of the local legislative delegation.
CVB officials made the announcement Monday following a board meeting.
Officials said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, along with state Sen. Ronnie Johns, CPPJ administrator Bryan Beam and the CVB's CPPJ liaisons, Nic Hunter and Sandy Treme, made a presentation to the board on Monday.
Also present were Rep. Mike Danahay and Bill Rase, Port of Lake Charles director.
"The presentation explained the unique situation of the Cove Lane project as it relates to two major casino attractions L'Auberge and the Ameristar property, which will severely impact traffic flow for visitors and residents," said Shelley Johnson, CVB executive director.
Johnson said the mission of the bureau is to "market the area as a desirable destination while enhancing the economic fabric of the parish through bringing in leisure travelers, groups, media, tournaments, events and conferences."
"With the addition of Ameristar to the already congested area near L'Auberge and the new growth on the horizon, the board understands that this is an unprecedented situation. Ameristar will be a major draw for visitors, and with its proximity to L'Auberge, the board decided that the project will enhance the visitor experience and encourage future visitation," said Johnson.
The total cost of the Cove Lane project improvements is estimated at $80 million. Of that, Ameristar will pay $20 million.
Officials said the local legislative delegation prevailed on the state to pay $40 million of the improvements, and the remaining $20 million will be shared with the CPPJ, the City of Lake Charles, the Port of Lake Charles, and now, the CVB.
Officials said the CVB will dedicate $250,000 per year for five years of the revenue generated from Ameristar's 700 rooms, commencing from its opening.