Concrete to be removed from old Harrah's property - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Concrete to be removed from old Harrah's property

Who could forget the eyesore that once sat on the old Harrah's property? The hotel was finally demolished after years of sitting vacant, but there is still work to be done. The City of Lake Charles is now reviewing bids to have the concrete left on the property removed.

"You know it's a gateway. I hope it cleans it up and it looks attractive. At least we will be able to see when we cross the bridge and see Lake Charles for the first time," said Dana Jackson, Lake Charles City Council Vice President.

City officials talked about doing this two years ago, but deferred going out for bid because they were in negotiations with company Mardi Gras Boardwalk. The company had plans to try and use the concrete in its mixed-use development. With that proposal now off the table and the property back on the market, the city says this is the next step to really showcase that part of the lakefront.

"The removal of the slab might not seem like a major project... and it's not a major project in terms of cost. I think it's a major project in terms of impact... in terms of how the property is perceived by developers and certainly how people look at the property when they are going down the Interstate," said Mayor Randy Roach. "We plan to get the property back down to grade and cover it with grass and create a park-like atmosphere for the public to enjoy, until a developer moves in and does something."

Thursday the city is set to interview two marketing firms -- one based in Austin and the other in San Diego. Each will try to prove why they should be hired to market the Lake Charles lakefront.

"We are looking for a firm that certainly has some experience and deep experience in development, and a good long client list of potential folks to locate on our lakefront," said Stuart Weatherford, Lake Charles City Council President.

Whichever firm wins, there's one group they won't have to convince. According to Jackson, Mardi Gras Boardwalk is still working to locate on the lakefront.

"I never count anybody out until they're completely gone. And they have called within the last week. So they're still interested," said Jackson.

The committee interviewing the marketing firms will make a recommendation on which one to hire to the full council in the coming weeks.

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