Issue 261
September 12 - September 18, 2005
Volume 5
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Pinnacle Entertainment Breaks Ground on Downtown St. Louis Casino Resort

Trop casino eyes Agere site

Cato finds boat for new casino

GreenTiePoker.Com - The Next Generation of Online Gaming Poker

Cattle Congress Bid Turned Down

Show Time Crosby, Stills & Nash appear at the Hard Rock.

Column Horoscope for the week starting September 11, 2005 By Michael O'Connor.

Check out our entertainment highlights & upcoming tournaments

See the lucky winners


Not yet subscribed to the Casino City Newsletter? Sign up NOW!


Pinnacle Entertainment Breaks Ground on Downtown St. Louis Casino Resort

Press Release

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. broke on its casino, luxury hotel and spa project in downtown St. Louis. The Company's $400 million development is one of the most ambitious construction projects in St. Louis and will create a unique destination resort in the shadow of the famed Gateway Arch.

Pinnacle's site is adjacent to the St. Louis convention district and the Laclede's Landing entertainment district. The world-class resort will open in 2007 and will include a 90,000-square-foot casino, a 200-room luxury hotel, spa, business center, fine restaurants, and 12,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space. The project is estimated to create 4,500 jobs: 700 construction jobs, 1,300 permanent jobs, and an additional 2,500 ancillary service jobs in the region.

"We scheduled this ground breaking long before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Our thoughts and prayers are focused on the victims of the hurricane, including our own employees and their families," said Daniel R. Lee, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment. "Nevertheless, our plans for downtown St. Louis are ready, our contractor is chosen and it is time to begin building the foundations.

"Our ceremony today is therefore not so much a celebration as a commemoration of the investment we are making in the City of St. Louis. We will build a destination here that will help to lead the revitalization of the City's urban core. We will also rebuild our property in Biloxi, Mississippi, which was severely damaged by the hurricane. As in St. Louis, we intend to be a good neighbor and an important contributor to the revitalization of the Gulf Coast region," Lee said.

The Company recently announced the selection of McCarthy Building Companies of St. Louis as the general contractor. Marnell Corrao Associates of Las Vegas leads the design team, which will incorporate open space and a contemporary ambiance for this project in a design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The project will feature a soaring tower with a dramatic light feature that will become a new icon along the St. Louis riverfront.

Pinnacle also recently announced the acquisition of the Embassy Suites Hotel adjacent to the site and approximately 3 acres of additional land in the area, giving the Company the opportunity to master plan an 18-acre redevelopment area north of the Gateway Arch.

The Company was selected for two St. Louis-area projects in early 2004 by the City and County of St. Louis, and then by the Missouri Gaming Commission in competitive bid processes that included applications from several gaming companies. In addition to the downtown project, the Company plans to build a $375 million casino, hotel and entertainment complex in the Lemay community of St. Louis County.

Trop casino eyes Agere site
As reported by The Morning Call

Aztar Corp., owner of the Tropicana casinos, is trying to craft a deal to build a slots parlor near the proposed minor league baseball stadium on the Agere Systems site in east Allentown, according to sources who have talked with developers and casino operators.

Aztar, based in Phoenix, Ariz., is one of at least three casino operators expected to apply for licenses to run a slots parlor in the Lehigh Valley, now that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has agreed to start taking applications Nov. 1.

Among those, Bethlehem developer Louis Pektor on Friday confirmed he has a gambling partner who plans to apply to bring slots to the Route 33 corridor.

To date, only Las Vegas Sands Corp., owner of the Venetian casino, has rolled out a plan for a slots parlor, but Thursday's decision by the gaming board to begin taking applications was like a shot opening the race to bring gambling to the Lehigh Valley.

''Anyone who thought there would be only one applicant in the Lehigh Valley is in a fantasy world,'' said state Rep. T.J. Rooney, D-Lehigh/Northampton. ''Including Tropicana's plans for the Agere site, there will be at least three applications and probably more. This is just getting started.''

Earlier this week, Las Vegas Sands officials complained that other gambling operators with designs on the Valley were ''hiding in the bushes.''

That is expected to change, now that a window of Nov. 1 to Dec. 28 has been set to apply for gaming licenses that do not involve horse racing. But state Rep. Doug Reichley, R-Lehigh, is urging Valley leaders to be patient before backing any particular plan.

''It's almost a foregone conclusion that the Lehigh Valley is going to get a license, so this is going to be a major regional decision,'' Reichley said. ''Before any of us start throwing our support behind any plan, we owe it to ourselves to view every plan.''

For now, only Las Vegas Sands has made its plans known. Its proposal calls for up to $879 million in development, including a $350 million slots parlor and hotel complex, a $200 million upscale mall, preservation of several Bethlehem Steel buildings and up to 1,200 apartments.

But Rooney said he's been told by Agere site developers that Aztar is mapping out plans to build a slots parlor. The complex would occupy the remaining portion of the site, which is slated for a $34.3 million, 7,000-seat minor league baseball stadium being developed by team owners Craig Stein and Joseph Finley.

''My understanding is that Tropicana has an option for 30 acres on the Agere site,'' Rooney said. ''Why they refuse to come forth with their plans is beyond me. Eventually, we will see all of these applications because this process will be open.''

Lehigh County Executive candidate Don Cunningham said he has been approached by Aztar representatives who wanted his support for their plans for a slots parlor in Allentown.

County Executive Jane Ervin and Agere officials would not comment on the matter.

Aztar officials in February said they were interested in locating a slots parlor in the Lehigh Valley, but Friday would not confirm specific plans for Allentown.

''We are excited about the possibilities in Pennsylvania,'' said Joe Cole, Aztar's vice president of corporate communications. ''We're looking at opportunities in that area, but have nothing concrete to report.''

Aztar operates riverboat casinos in Missouri and Indiana, a 1,500-room hotel and casino outside Las Vegas, and its flagship Atlantic City resort, which includes a 2,100-room hotel and casino and a newly opened $285 million entertainment center called The Quarter.

Aztar showed interest in Bethlehem at Route 412 and Interstate 78, but failed to make a formal bid.

Pektor, the Bethlehem developer who made an unsuccessful bid to buy Bethlehem land at Route 412 for a slots parlor complex, said he has a new gambling partner and expects to file an application for a license by the end of the year. He plans to locate in the Route 33 corridor, but would not reveal the exact location or casino operator.

Like Reichley, Pektor urged Valley residents to wait for all of the applications to be filed before they begin rooting for a winner.

''When this is all done, there will be other options. You can count on that,'' Pektor said. ''I would hope people will wait for all the applications before making up their minds.''


Tell us what you think about our newsletter. Copyright 2000-2005 Casino City. All rights reserved Casino City is a trademark of Please read our Disclaimer of Warranty