Voters Green Light $250M Baton Rouge Casino Complex

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., has taken a big step forward with its plans to develop the Riviere, a $250 million gaming entertainment destination in Baton Rouge, La. The company has secured a most necessary endorsement for its first phase–that of the voters of the City of Baton Rouge. Riviere (pictured) will be sited on 550 acres about 80 miles outside of New Orleans. “We tailor each of our properties to the taste of the market and Riviere will be very much for a regional market; it will be a true destination resort,” a Pinnacle spokesperson told CPN today. “We believe there area a lot of people going down to Biloxi, Mississippi, and we think if we give them a really nice project, they’ll stay in Louisiana.” Riviere will be constructed in phases, the first of which will encompass a casino and adjoining 100-room hotel. The initial development stage will also yield and a bevy of restaurants and a state-of-the art entertainment venue. “We’re planning to bring in true headline entertainment and that’s something the people of Baton Rouge are very interested in,” the spokesperson said. Riviere will be a riverboat-style facility–a second-generation riverboat facility. “Customers have become much more sophisticated and we try to accommodate that taste,” she said. “There’s no way to tell you’re standing on a boat.”Additional phases of the project, to be developed according to demand, will encompass residential offerings and supplementary guestrooms, as well as a spa and health facility, a golf course, a tennis club, an equestrian center and riding trails. Completion of the first segment of the project, which is bound by rules set forth by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board in September of last year, will bring 1,200 permanent jobs to the area. Now that voters have given the go-ahead for Riviere’s first phase, Pinnacle will seek approvals on various zoning issues, and will continue to hammer out design and planning details for the project. Riviere, however, is not Pinnacle’s only endeavor in Louisiana. The company is in the midst of developing the $350 million Sugarcane Bay, a casino resort located adjacent to its L’Auberge du Lac casino hotel in Lake Charles, about 130 miles from Riviere. Pinnacle, headquartered in Las Vegas, owns and operates casino properties in Nevada, Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, Argentina and The Bahamas.Additionally the company has recently submitted a proposal for a casino resort in Kansas City, Kans., and is planning a new casino resort on a site it owns on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk.