Ameristar Lake Charles approved

Published: Jun. 21, 2012 at 3:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2012 at 5:27 PM CDT
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It won't be Mojito Point-- it will be Ameristar Lake Charles.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has approved Ameristar's plans to take over Creative Casino's Mojito Point. And at this time two years from now, it should be getting ready to open.

Ameristar is acquiring Creative Casinos for a purchase price of $32. 5 million.

And Mojito Point will now be called Ameristar Lake Charles.  It appears the project will be bigger and better than first proposed according to Ameristar CEO Gordon Kanofsky. "It is a big step for our company. One that our team members are very excited about. I can tell that at all of our other properties people came up when this was announced and said, 'I want to go to Lake Charles.' So, it's a very attractive community, a very attractive state to our team members. Our shareholders are excited about it," Kanofsky told the gaming board.

When questioned by one board member about how Ameristar became involved, Kanofsky explained Creative Casino's Dan Lee approached them when he was having trouble financing the project. He said, "'Hey, I'm having a hard time raising the money to get this done and to do it in a way that makes sure I can complete my obligations to the state to build it right. I've got it really far along. I've got the core permits, I've got a design. I've got a construction contract. I've got a referendum passed, I've got pretty much everything in place. I'm just having a hard time raising the money as a stand alone company.'"

The board saw a slide presentation on the planned casino resort which will include a hotel with 700 guest rooms, parking for 3000 and more. "We're going to have a resort community for everybody in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish and Southeast Texas to come and enjoy. We'll have an 18 hole golf course. We'll have a great spa, great hotel rooms, tennis courts," said Kanofsky in an interview after the meeting.

Construction must begin by July 20th and the casino resort is to open by July 2014. "A lot of the work starts now. There's obviously the construction side of it, but we're going to need well qualified, well trained team members to help run the property. So, we've already started partnerships with a number of the local educational institutions about training programs and how we can be helpful to them so that they can be helpful to us in producing well qualified employees that can join the Ameristar workforce," said Kanofsky.

The license conditions require a minimum investment in the project of $500 million. The license now held by Ameristar is the 15th and last remaining riverboat license available in Louisiana.

To hear more from Ameristar's CEO look for the web extra on this page.

For an exclusive link of Ameristar's PowerPoint presentation to the LGCB [CLICK HERE].

To view the official Press Release from Ameristar [CLICK HERE].

Copyright KPLC 2012.  All rights reserved.