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Ameristar property in Mississippi faces closure due to flooding

Regional gaming operator Ameristar Casinos said Wednesday its property in Vicksburg, Miss., faces risk from potential Mississippi River flooding this month.

The Las Vegas-based company said it is taking steps to protect the Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg to withstand the anticipated flood levels.

The company said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is estimating the Mississippi River will crest in Vicksburg on or about May 18 at a level above the current design parameters.

“If the flood threat continues to materialize, we plan to undertake an orderly closure of Ameristar Vicksburg,” Ameristar said in a statement. “Such a closure could last several weeks as the flood crest is expected to last for approximately 10 days to two weeks.”

Ameristar said the facility could be damaged and the closure could be extended, leading to significant costs and lost profits.

The news came as Ameristar announced one of its most successful quarters in two years. The company said its net income for the quarter than ended March 31 was $21.8 million, a 104.6 percent increase compared with $10.7 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The profits translated into earnings per share of 37 cents, compared with 18 cents per share in the first quarter of 2010.

Net revenues in the quarter grew 2 percent to $308.7 million.

“During the first quarter of this year, we achieved year-over-year growth in all of our key financial metrics,” Ameristar Chief Executive Officer Gordon Kanofsky told investors.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow him on Twitter @howardstutz

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