Pinnacle Picks Contractor for $375M St. Louis Casino Project

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. takes a big step forward with the development of River City, its planned casino project in suburban St. Louis, Mo., as it taps Yates/Paric to serve as general contractor. Yates/Paric, a joint venture involving W.G. Yates & Sons Construction and Paric Corp., will operate under a contact valued at approximately $149 million for River City, the first phase of which carries a development price tag of $375 million. River City is located in Lemay on 80 acres Pinnacle is leasing from the St. Louis County Port Authority. The project sits 10 miles from the Gateway City in the southern portion of St. Louis County and is slated to become one of the largest developments in the St. Louis area. Included in the initial phase will be a 90,000-square-foot casino, several restaurants and a multi-use center with athletic fields. Environmental cleanup, already completed, is also part of the first stage of the endeavor. According to company officials, Pinnacle selected Yates/Paric for the job based on the team’s record of high-quality standards, ability to facilitate such a project on deadline, casino resort experience and familiarity with the local market. Phase II of River City will feature a hotel with no fewer than 100 rooms to be developed at a cost of approximately $75 million. As per an agreement with the Port Authority documented in a November 2007 SEC filing, the second phase must reach completion within three years of the casino’s debut. Pinnacle has–in addition to demand–great incentive to meet the deadline for the second segment of River City as, according to the Port Authority agreement, the company would incur annual liquidated damages that would max out at $20 million should Phase II not reach completion by 2017. With Yates/Paric in place, construction of River City’s first phase is on schedule to reach completion within 18 months. Pinnacle is hardly new to the St. Louis market; the company opened its $507 million Lumiere Place casino hotel in Downtown St. Louis in December 2007. Las Vegas-headquartered Pinnacle owns and operates casinos in Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada, as well as Argentina and The Bahamas. Additionally, the company has placed a bid to develop a casino resort in Kansas City, Kans., and owns a 20-acre parcel on Atlantic City’s boardwalk, where it plans to build a multi billion dollar gaming resort.