September 29, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.’s casino and hotel development endeavor started out in 2008 as a project with a $250 million budget, but with the recent announcement of updated plans, the development will be bigger and better than originally conceived, and carry a price tag of $357 million. According to Pinnacle, the increase in size and amenities is just what the region’s residents ordered.
A Pinnacle spokesperson told CPE that the company’s goal is to be best-in-market in all markets where it has properties, so the additional spending and additional amenities achieve that aim.
Marnell Architecture and Manning Architects are behind the design of the project, which will now feature 200 guestrooms instead of the 100 initially planned; an 800-space covered parking facility that will increase the total number of parking spaces to 2,400; and 15 percent more gaming positions on the 30,000-square-foot gaming floor. Additionally, the facility will include a variety of restaurant and lounge options and a multi-purpose event center to accommodate 1,400 seats for concerts and 800 seats for banquets.
Pinnacle intends for the casino entertainment and hotel complex, located on 545 acres near downtown and just off Interstate 10, to serve as a premier regional destination. The larger casino project with the expanded amount of amenities is charted to drive a large amount of customers in the market, according to the spokesperson.
All financing for the development is in place, with Pinnacle relying on cash-on-hand, cash flow from existing properties and its undrawn $375 million credit facility. The company’s new Baton Rouge destination, which will create an estimated 1,000 new jobs, is on schedule to make its debut in December 2011.