ST. LOUIS- Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. on Thursday gained approval for its purchase of the President Casino St. Louis Riverfront from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. Locally based Pinnacle tied up the property in February. The deal is expected to close during the second half of the year.

The casino walking distance from the Laclede’s Landing historic district and Pinnacle’s $350 million project in downtown St. Louis, which is currently under construction. The casino-hotel will include a casino, a 200-guestroom luxury hotel and spa, several restaurants, and 12,000 sf of meeting and convention space.

Pinnacle is acquiring the President Casino from President Casinos Inc. The agreement calls for Pinnacle to purchase all of the outstanding capital stock of President Riverboat Casino-Missouri, Inc., which does business as President Casino St. Louis Riverfront. The approval of this purchase agreement by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court also will require licensing approval by the Missouri Gaming Commission and final approval of the debtors’ bankruptcy plan by the court.

In September 2005, Pinnacle acquired two properties adjacent to its Downtown project, a three-acre parcel along North First Street and the 297-room Embassy Suites Hotel. The purchases give Pinnacle ownership of all real estate in an 18-acre area located north of the Gateway Arch and bounded by Third Street, Carr Street, Lenore K. Sullivan Drive and Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.

In addition to the Laclede’s Landing project, 10 miles south of Downtown, in the community of Lemay, Pinnacle has started work on a $300-million gaming and mixed-use project. The proposed development is situated on approximately 56 acres of land leased from the St. Louis County Port Authority. It will include a 90,000-sf, 3,000-slot casino; a 100-guestroom hotel; and an undetermined amount of retail and entertainment space.

An additional 24 acres would be developed into a public park that would include community and recreational facilities. Because the county project requires extensive remediation of the former industrial site as well as construction of a new road and flood control measures, the company estimates that the project will open approximately one after its Laclede’s Landing development.

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