Pinnacle, ex-CEO Lee, settle legal dispute

A settlement in a legal dispute between two Las Vegas-based gaming companies will allow construction of a new hotel-
casino in Lake Charles, La., to move ahead.

In statement Tuesday, regional casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment said it resolved its litigation with Creative Casinos, which was founded by former Pinnacle chief executive Dan Lee.

Under the terms of the deal, which also was reached with the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, the companies agreed to create and jointly operate festival grounds on shared acreage between Pinnacle’s L’Auberge du Lac resort and Creative’s planned Mojito Pointe.

The District is a state agency charged with fostering economic development in Southwest Louisiana, and also leases to Pinnacle and Creative the combined 500-acre site that L’Auberge occupies and Mojito Pointe plans to develop.

Lee, Creative’s managing director, said he hopes to begin construction on the $400 million Mojito Pointe later this year, pending approval of a Lake Charles voter referendum, scheduled for Saturday.

“Resolution of these issues will allow Lake Charles to improve its position as the South’s leading gaming resort destination,” Pinnacle Chief Executive Officer Anthony Sanfilippo said.

Lee said Mojito Pointe, which is expected to house 400 hotel rooms and an 18-hole championship golf course, would complement L’Auberge, which has 1,000 hotel rooms and its own 18-hole championship golf course.

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