A year ago in April, 2010, Calcasieu Parish residents were disappointed when Pinnacle Entertainment cancelled their Sugarcane Bay project which would have been adjacent to Pinnacle’s successful L’Auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino. With the scrapped project the Sugarcane Bay gaming license was surrendered to the gaming board.
Last month gambling regulators for the State of Louisiana awarded the state’s last riverboat license (#15) to Creative Casinos LLC. State law limits the number of riverboat casinos to 15. For those readers who are out of state and don’t understand riverboat gambling, and picture a big paddlewheel boat, it is more upscale than that! The actual gaming facility has to be on water so although it is referred to as riverboat gambling, it can also be a land locked floating barge with a resort built around the barge. Lake Charles is a perfect destination and Dan Lee recognizes that.
The new $ 400 million Mojito Pointe casino vision is led by Dan Lee (formerly Chairman with Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. out of Vegas who brought L’Auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino to Lake Charles in 2005. Mr. Lee’s vision is close to becoming a dream come true once the Voter’s of Calcasieu Parish vote YES on April 30th. I would like to share my opinion of why Calcasieu Parish voters should endorse this project.
I had the privilege of working in the Marketing Department for L’Auberge du Lac prior to it opening the doors to the public in May 2005. Dan Lee was the man behind the L’Auberge du Lac Pinnacle project, so I have seen his vision turn into reality.
During my tenure of employment, I saw how many individuals benefited directly with jobs in Southwest Louisiana. Once L’Auberge du Lac was built, Lake Charles, LA became a destination. With job creation our economy is stimulated and when Lake Charles attracts visitors they also spend money in our City which helps retail stores, restaurants and other business owners. With increased individual incomes and relocation of new residents, our real estate market is also stimulated! The casinos also give back to our community through donations, sponsorships and tax revenues.
Mojito Pointe will have a direct impact on jobs in Southwest Louisiana. The Mojito Pointe project will generate 1,500 construction jobs over the next 2 years. When completed it will employ 2,000 people with permanent jobs generating over $72 million in wages for our local Lake Charles economy. There will be a ripple effect felt not only in Calcasieu Parish but throughout Southwest Louisiana.
Mojito Pointe will generate over $27 million in local tax revenue for Calcasieu Parish. The gaming tax will generate $12.3 million in local taxes which will be dedicated to the school board, Sowela, and all municipalities in the parish.
With the creation of permanent jobs and increased wages, individuals and management relocating to Lake Charles will need housing and others within our community will be able to buy homes!
Think of the possibilities and the improvements that could result from an additional Casino Resort in Lake Charles. VOTE YES FOR MOJITO POINTE!