Fertitta announces casino purchase

By By Justin B. Phillips / American Press

On paper, the plan for the new Golden

Nugget Casino being built next to L’Auberge is to one day be the home

for some of the

area’s best opportunities for entertainment. From the planned 750

hotel rooms and suites to the 18-hole golf course, restaurants

and 18,000-square-foot ballroom, the resort is expected to draw

visitors from all over. In reality, the hotel is still in

the early stages of development, with much of the major

construction now underway. On Thursday, the closing of the purchase

of the casino was announced by its owner, Tilman J. Fertitta,

marking another step in the ongoing process toward opening in

late 2014.

For Fertitta, Louisiana holds a

significant place in his heart. His father is from Leesville. And

despite having grown up

in Texas, Fertitta said he values the Southwest Louisiana area for

everything it offers. He said the connection between the

area and East Texas is an important one.

“I really just feel such a connection between Texas and Louisiana. Whenever I’m here, I feel like I’m home,” Fertitta said.

Fertitta, through various wholly owned

affiliates, operates four Golden Nugget Hotels and Casinos. The other

resorts are in

Las Vegas; Laughlin, Nev.; Atlantic City, N.J.; and Biloxi, Miss.

He said the resort in Lake Charles will be successful because

of the residents in both Louisiana and Texas.

“We are investing nearly $600 million in the project and plan to draw from our large south Texas and Louisiana customer base

to drive business to our new resort,” Fertitta said.

With the casino planning to feature an entertainment showroom, meeting spaces and unique activities on the casino floor, more

than 3,000 parking spaces will be created to accommodate the visitors.

Even with the opportunity for future financial success, Fertitta said the most important aspect of this endeavor is getting

a chance to own something in an area he cares about.

“I’m so happy to be a part of this,” he said. “It’s going to be a great property. It’s going to be so much fun, and I think

people are really going to enjoy it.”