LAS VEGAS, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:PNK) broke ground today 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.
About Pinnacle Entertainment
Pinnacle Entertainment owns casinos in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana and Argentina, owns a hotel in Missouri, and receives lease income from two card club casinos in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Company opened a major casino resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana in May 2005 and a new casino in Neuquen, Argentina in July 2005. Pinnacle has also been selected for two casino development projects in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The casino operations in St. Louis are dependent upon final approval by the Missouri Gaming Commission.
All statements included in this press release, other than historical information or statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company’s new development opportunities, anticipated construction schedules and costs, and anticipated job creation are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that could significantly affect future results. Accordingly, Pinnacle Entertainment cautions that the forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, (a) construction-related factors that could prevent the Company from completing its construction and development projects within budget and on time; (b) having adequate funding and cash flows to complete its construction projects; (c) the risk that the proposed St. Louis projects and other capital intensive projects could strain the Company’s financial resources; (d) the results of the damage from Hurricane Katrina and insurance proceeds available to the Company; and (e) other risks, including those as may be detailed from time to time in Pinnacle Entertainment’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). For more information on the potential factors that could affect the Company’s financial results and business, review the Company’s filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and its Current Reports on Form 8-K.
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