Last Modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 2:46 PM
Mark McMurry believes Ameristar’s presence in Lake Charles will be beneficial for the area’s economy.
The gambling company is constructing a $560 million-to-$580 million hotel casino next to Pinnacle Entertainment’s L’Auberge Casino Resort.
McMurry, a former Calcasieu Parish administrator, works as a consultant for companies interested in conducting business in the region.
On Friday, he shared a few facts about Ameristar — a client of his — that could be interpreted as an introduction for the company. His audience consisted of Better Business Bureau members in the Lake Charles area.
McMurry said the company is a leader in the regional gaming and entertainment business sector; builds “premium” properties; is publicly traded; ranks No. 1 in seven of eight markets in which it manages properties; supports communities through charitable giving; is committed to spending money with local vendors; seeks out minority- and female-operated vendors; and is interested in improving the quality of life in communities where it manages properties.
McMurry said the company should be done with its construction work on the Lake Charles project in July 2014. At the moment, building crews are installing pylons on the property where the hotel and riverboat casino will be located.
He told the group that Ameristar will build a facility that will include 700 guest rooms, 70 suites, 3,000 parking spaces, a golf course and tennis facilities, a resort spa, and different food and beverage outlets.
One of the most important aspects of the project — one that will affect area residents — is an access road that is being planned by state officials.
McMurry said one plan of action that is garnering attention from designers is an interchange that may be located at Cove Lane.
“That would cause the need for an overpass on Interstate 210 and a Texas turnaround. If that concept is approved, the project would get funding from the state and federal government. Ameristar has agreed to put $17 million towards the project,” he said.
McMurry said the road would relieve congestion on Nelson Road.
“The benefit would be huge,” he said.