Ameristar Casinos suffers fourth quarter net loss

A bridge closure in Indiana limited access to Ameristar Casino’s riverboat property during the recently completed fourth quarter and hurt the Las Vegas-based company’s overall results.

Ameristar, which operates predominately in regional markets, said Wednesday it lost $63.3 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, which included a non-cash impairment charge of $111.7 million on its East Chicago, Ind., property.

The loss translated into a net loss per share of $1.10. The figures compared to a net loss in the same quarter a year ago of $101 million or $1.77 per share.

Ameristar Chief Executive Officer Gordon Kanofsky said the fourth quarter loss was due to the permanent closure of a bridge near the Ameristar East Chicago by the Indiana Department of Transportation on Nov. 13 due to safety concerns.

“Closure of the bridge has significantly impacted the property’s operating results, and we expect this to continue unless and until improved access to Ameristar East Chicago is developed," Kanofsky said in a statement. "We are working closely with government officials to attempt to mitigate the traffic impact. Additionally, we will continue to evaluate the property’s cost structure relative to business levels."

The problems in Indiana offset Ameristar’s success at it newly expanded resort in Colorado. Ameristar Black Hawk, which added a hotel tower in September, had a 17.8 percent increase in fourth quarter revenues.

However, net revenues at Ameristar East Chicago fell almost 12 percent in the quarter and revenues at Ameristar Council Bluffs in Iowa decreased 11.6 percent.

Overall, Ameristar reported fourth quarter revenues of $291.3 million, a 0.8 percent decrease compared with $293.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.


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