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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Golden Nugget Casinos buying Ameristar property

Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 6:31 PM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

L’Auberge has a new neighbor, a casino with a famous Las Vegas name.

Golden Nugget Casinos announced it has entered into an agreement with Pinnacle Entertainment to purchase the Lake Charles development currently under construction next to L’Auberge. The announcement comes one week after the state’s Gaming Control Board unanimously approved Pinnacle’s merger with Ameristar.

“We feel it’s a great opportunity,” said Tilmam J. Fertitta, owner and chief executive officer of Golden Nugget Casinos. Lake Charles is a growing market, a growing city, and to be able to team up with L’Auberge to have two major resorts to be right there next to each other, we feel it’s going to be a huge plus.”

Golden Nugget’s purchase must now get approval from GCB and the Federal Trade Commission. If approved, the company’s 242-acre Lake Charles resort and casino will be its fifth location. In addition to Las Vegas and Lake Charles, Golden Nugget owns casinos in Atlantic City, N.J.; Laughlin, Nevada; and Biloxi, Mississippi.

Fertitta said geography played a huge role in his company’s decision to build a casino in Lake Charles, with its two-hour driving proximity to Houston. Fertitta owns more than 100 restaurants in the South Texas market, including Saltgrass Steakhouse, Morton’s Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, and Landry’s Seafood House. He also owns the Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier, the San Luis Resort Complex and the Downtown Aquarium.

“We’re so strong in south Texas and we have a bunch of restaurants in Louisiana; it’s mainly our strength in this Gulf Coast region. We have so many customers already that eat at all of our different restaurants,” he said.

Fertitta said the new $600 million casino and resort will feature a 750-room luxury hotel with office space, six restaurants and an 18-hole golf course. He added that the resort, slated to be called the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, is expected to be up and running by next fall.

Posted By: Doug On: 7/25/2013

Title: What's New?

Do any real estate deals in Lake Charles ever go smoothly? It seems every single deal in Lake Charles goes on and on forever and ever, and the end result is never what was originally proposed.

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