In Indiana, the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago has reportedly announced that it will be spending $15 million over the next 18 weeks in order to completely renovate its four-level riverboat casino operation.
According to a recent report from The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper, the Lake County facility owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated and operated by Pinnacle Entertainment Incorporated is hoping the move will improve its offerings in the face of increased competition from the other four casinos in northwest Indiana as well as from the newly-opened Four Winds Casino South Bend.
Matthew Schuffert (pictured), Senior Vice-President and General Manager for the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago, reportedly told the newspaper that the renovation is to involve ‘pretty much almost everything there is on a casino floor’ including the provision of new chairs, gaming equipment, carpets, wall coverings and ceilings. He purportedly detailed that the work will moreover see the venue add fourth-floor toilet facilities and upgrades to its surveillance systems and amenities.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that the floating Chicago-area casino, which has almost completed a $6 million project to move all of its high-stakes slots and gaming tables into a dockside pavilion, is due to remain open during the renovation campaign with individual areas being closed in two to four-week periods so that all of the work can be completed in time for an October 5 deadline.
Schuffert reportedly told the newspaper that the main third-floor gaming area inside the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago is to be renovated between July 16 and August 3 and see 21 of its gaming tables temporarily relocated to the new off-boat pavilion.
“Because this section has a pretty large majority of the table games we offer, we felt it was important when we were renovating this section to really still have that offering somewhere on property that those guests can come experience that,” Schuffert reportedly told The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Despite the passage of state legislation in 2015 that allows Indiana riverboat casinos to relocate onto dry ground so long as they do not stray from their existing footprints, Schuffert reportedly told the newspaper that there currently are no plans to completely ground the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago.
“We looked at what was the best capital to invest at this property at this time,” Schuffert reportedly told The Times of Northwest Indiana. “Last November, it was let’s get the high-limit on land going [but] now it’s time to put that money into the casino. It’s a product that obviously gets a lot of traffic, a lot of use, and, you know, it’s just something that we felt was the next step in this project.”