Pinnacle Entertainment Breaks Ground on Downtown St. Louis Casino Resort

Casino, luxury hotel and spa are all part of downtown revitalization project


LAS VEGAS -- Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. 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.

(c) 2005 PR Newswire