City officials demolished this lakefront hotel on property handed over to the city by Pinnacle Entertainment in 2012. Mardi Gras Boardwalk has proposed putting its entertainment facility on the site. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:33 AM
Even though delays seem constant and progress appears slow for Mardi Gras Boardwalk, a recent status report submitted by the company to the City Council says otherwise.
The report describes how Mardi Gras Boardwalk has over the past six months been “intensely aggressive in marketing to and meeting with resources in the three foundational areas that are critical to the long-term success of the boardwalk project.”
The three listed areas are financial support, prospects for the hotel and retail venues, and entertainment management. Each area was broken down into specific subsections.
In the financial support subsection, the report says that even though the city expects an economic turnaround in the near future, bridge capital and long-term financing have been hard to come by for Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials.
“However, after extensive discussions, we have reached the point with three serious, solid candidates who are ready to enter the final phase, finishing due diligence and negotiating terms, to establish the needed short and long-term funding with them,” reads the report.
In the hospitality and retail venues subsection, conceptual presentations of the boardwalk concept are credited for procuring “letters of interest” from several businesses. Businesses listed as having submitted a letter include the Marriott Hotel, Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar, Happy’s Irish Pub, Dean-O’s Pizza, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Growlers Pourhouse and Seabar.
In the entertainment management subsection of the report, Mardi Gras Boardwalk listed The ARK Group as a development and management group having submitted a “letter of interest.”
The report also mentioned the project’s financial progress. Gilcrest Investments Inc., a development financing and construction firm, was listed as being “ready to actively involve their funding sources if LCMGB can secure an extension.”
Encore Global Investment Management was also listed as possibly getting involved in the project.
With one business mentioned in the report waiting to see if the City Council grants the 120-day extension to Mardi Gras Boardwalk, the request has become a definitive moment in the project’s history. With some of the council members growing tired of the delays, Mardi Gras Boardwalk has an uphill battle to restore the confidence city officials once had in the project.
Councilman Rodney Geyen has been vocal about the project and what he believes to be a lack of progress.
“I don’t need to read the book. Green talks. We’ve given them ample time to do what they had to do. We don’t need to read another book,” Geyen said of the report.
“We need to sign some papers with some finances in place for development. At this particular point, I’m very adamant about making that happen. If they can’t do it, let’s open it up for someone else to do it.”
Posted By: Douglas Gilman On: 3/2/2014
Have they put a deposit up on it , if so that's great keep it and sell to the next one if not get rid of the counsel and sell the property
Posted By: CTtcg On: 2/28/2014
Title: How long?
Wow why give them more time? How long does it take to come up with an idea and master plan? I think they've been at it for about 4 years now. How embarrassing for them.