WESTLAKE, La. (KPLC) - The City of Westlake just got a little bigger. The City Council approved an ordinance to expand the city’s boundaries.
Previously, the Isle of Capri casino was actually located in Westlake and in one unincorporated area of Calcasieu Parish. With plans to rebuild the new casino, owned by Caesars Entertainment, it will now solely be on Westlake grounds amid the latest expansion of city limits.
Construction for the Isle of Capri’s new land-based casino is underway and expected to open in the summer of 2022.
“The new land-based casino, we knew that 50 percent of the building was going to be in the city and Jeff [Favre] really just wanted to deal with one entity,” said Westlake Mayor Bob Hardey.
Hardey said that the city has been working with Jeff Farve, the casino’s VP and general manager, on this project for sometime.
“Westlake for many years has supplied them all their services: the water, sewer, gas, trash, fire, police, everything.” Mayor Hardey said.
Hardey said the new casino will help increase the funds that go to the Calcasieu Parish Gaming Pool for local schools.
“We will be calculated just like Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish as a giver to the pool instead of a taker.”
The casino also brings more economic opportunities with tax revenue to help with non-salary city expenses, including a portion of it being used to pay down the city’s debt. This would help Westlake’s plan to eliminate the city’s debt within five years.
“This casino is going to make them comparable to the Golden Nugget and L’Auberge, so that should increase, and everybody should win,” Hardey said. “It’d be a win-win for everybody. Westlake just wins on the side of the taxes and sales tax.”
In addition, the City has introduced the Economic Development District near the casino to encourage more developers to come to Westlake. The mayor said he hopes to even see a river walk in the future as well as more shops and other attractions. The incentive to developers will be based on taxes.
“There will be a two percent sales tax put in that district, and one percent of that tax goes back to the developer.”
Hardey said he is excited to re-develop the “old part” of Westlake and continue to grow the city.