Ameristar Casino's project ahead of schedule in Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. - Officials of Ameristar Casino say construction of a $500 million casino is moving ahead on schedule and the development should open in 2014.

The American Press reports that since July, Ameristar has removed trees, set a building foundation and completed a road that allows construction workers access to the site of its casino hotel in south Lake Charles.

Ameristar Vice President Jack Mohn said the new casino's neighbor - Pinnacle Entertainment, owner of L'Auberge Casino Resort - has been accommodating.

He said Pinnacle has allowed construction materials to be transported through its property to the construction site.

Mohn said the two companies have a shared interest in working together when possible.

"The question has been how we can integrate the two properties to be viewed as an overall resort destination," Mohn said.

When completed, the resort will sit on 242 acres. The riverboat casino will have 1,600 slot machines and 60 table games. The hotel will have 700 guest rooms and 70 suites. Amenities will include bars and restaurants, along with an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and a spa.