Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
LAKE CHARLES, La. —
The fourth and final space for a casino appears to have been filled.
Golden Nugget Casinos has acquired the last gaming license issued by the state of Louisiana and is currently constructing the new casino and resort next door to the highly successful and popular L’Auberge Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, La., which is owned by Pinnacle Entertainment. The property is expected to open in 2014.
According to Hailey Polzin Kleiderer, public relations officer, the casino will be one of the most luxurious gaming resorts “outside of the Las Vegas strip” with approximately 800 hotel rooms and suites, retail shopping, a golf course, spa and a gigantic 18,000 square foot ballroom spread across 242 acres.
Other features will include a “one-of-a-kind pool,” beach front and marina, meeting spaces, a large entertainment showroom, and at least two of Landry’s signature restaurants, Grotto Italian Ristorante and Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse.
“I could not pass up the opportunity to build and operate a casino next door to my hometown,” said Tilman J. Fertitta, owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos and president, CEO and primary shareholder of Landry’s Restaurants, in a press release. “This casino will be where Louisiana locals and Texans will want to play, stay and enjoy themselves.”
The casino will also include more than 60 gaming tables, and approximately 1,600 of the “newest slot machines in the world,” while providing more than 3,000 parking spaces for guests and patrons.
Fertitta owns Golden Nugget Casino locations in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, as well as Atlantic City, New Jersey and in Biloxi, Miss.
He also owns and operates more than 100 restaurants in the Southeast Texas region, including well known brands such as Landry’s Seafood House, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Saltgrass Steakhouse, among others. Fertitta has also been referred to by Forbes as “the world’s richest restauranteur.”
According to Marketwatch.com, a deal was reached on July 25 between Golden Nugget and Pinnacle Entertainment, where Golden Nugget would acquire all equity interests of the entity which owns the Ameristar Casino Lake Charles development project.
The article stated Ameristar has disclosed it had invested approximately $214 million in the Lake Charles, La. project through June 30. This includes the original purchase price, capital expenditures and escrow deposits too, according to a statement from Pinnacle.
Golden Nugget Casino will reportedly pay an amount “equal to all cash expenditures on the development” up until its closing date, which is expected to happen by the end of the year.
Fertitta’s company will reportedly invest approximately $600 million in the project.