Pinnacle Entertainment Introduces L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort To Lake Charles, LA
Fireworks, Festivities Herald $365 Million Casino Resort Grand Opening

Pinnacle Entertainment's $365 million L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort opened on May 26 to long lines of eager gamblers who waited several hours to get into the world's largest one-story riverboat casino. Pinnacle unveil Award-Winning Dining, a Tom Fazio-Designed Golf Course, world-class spa services and Las Vegas-style gaming.

Workers at the resort worked feverishly throughout the day to put finishing touches throughout the hotel, 10 restaurants, retail shops and other areas for the official 10 p.m. opening of the casino. We arrived the night before, and from the looks of things, I did not figure that they would make their grand opening deadline.

Lines began to form outside the L’Auberge at about 6:30 p.m. and grew longer through the night. Others sat in their vehicles in the large parking lot next to the hotel. A few people had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

The Texas turn around built in and effort to relieve possible traffic snarls from eastbound traffic on Interstate 210 opened at 3 p.m. However, it didn’t start seeing heavy traffic until closer to the casino’s opening.

The official opening began with a ribbon cutting and then a spectacular choreographed fireworks display designed by Grucci, known as the "First Family of Fireworks." Once the doors open to the casino, gamblers – many wearing cowboy hats – crowded on the riverboat.

Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach and country and western singer Collin Raye cut the ribbon with Dan Lee, president of Pinnacle Entertainment, state Sen. Willie Mount, state Rep. Ronnie Johns, and former State Rep. Dan Falvin looking on.

Afterwards, Lee said that he was pleased with the large turnout and credited his staff with everything running fairly smoothly. “I think we built a wonderful facility. Our business is pretty simple. I take care of the employees and make sure they take care of our guests. I’m very proud of the staff.”

"We are excited to open the doors to L'Auberge du Lac and welcome our guests for the first time," says Larry Lepinski, Vice President and General Manager of L'Auberge. "We have created a truly unique resort unlike any other in the region and are thrilled to finally share it with our guests."

Inspired by the architecture of the Texas Hill country, L'Auberge features a unique 26-story, asymmetrical hotel complex with 743 spacious rooms. All of the deluxe guest rooms have been designed with special touches throughout to offer guests that "little something extra" during their stay. They feature a contemporary, rustic design theme combining warm, fresh colors and fabrics to provide an up-to-date version of the arts and crafts aesthetic. Each room offers a beautiful view of the Contraband Bayou, the lavish pool area or the stunning Contraband Bayou Golf Course. Luxurious linens, white down-filled comforters and luxury throws adorn the bedroom, while oversized bathrooms featuring large tubs, deluxe shower heads, plush terrycloth bathrobes and Gilchrest & Soames amenities bring another level of luxury to the accommodations. Business travelers will enjoy the comfort of a spacious work area and the convenience of high speed Internet access. Executive suites include a private "villa complex" adjacent to the hotel tower and overlook either the pool area or the Contraband Bayou, while each villa includes a private courtyard and spa.

For gaming enthusiasts, L'Auberge features the largest single-level riverboat casino in the United States and the only single-level riverboat in Louisiana. The resort features 30,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action, including 60 table games and more than 1,600 of the newest slot machines featuring ticket-in, ticket-out technology along with blackjack, baccarat and Pai Gow poker. L'Auberge also includes a video arcade with the latest in interactive video and traditional arcade games as well as three retail outlets filled with resort wear, logo apparel; jewelry and property souvenirs.

Unique and diverse dining experiences are featured at L'Auberge, with several innovative options available for guests to choose from. The award-winning Snake River Grill from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, brings modem American cuisine in a rustic, Western atmosphere to the area. We were treated to lunch of Morel-Crusted Alaskan Halibut with Tarragon-Scented Polenta with Asparagus "Slaw". The Rosemary Black Pepper Pecans were a unique yet delightful treat. The classic American roadhouse is the inspiration for the 165-seat Jack Daniel's Bar and Grill featuring barbecue, regional fare, 50 beers from around the world and classic Jack Daniel's specialties along with live entertainment.

Other dining options include the 400-seat Le Beaucoup Buffet; 24-hour casual dining at Le Cafe; Asia, a contemporary Asian-fusion and Vietnamese restaurant; Sprinkles, a classic ice cream parlor featuring Blue Bell brand ice cream; and Lattes, a lobby coffee bar serving Starbucks brand coffee and specialty drinks.

Business travelers can take advantage of approximately 26,000 gross square feet of meeting and conference space, including a business center and conference registration. Inspired by early 20th century arts and crafts architecture, the facility includes the L'Auberge Ballroom, a 14,175 square foot space that can accommodate banquet seating for up to 1,182 guests or theater-style seating for 1,500; The Sycamore Room, a 3,892 square foot space that can accommodate 260 guests in a classroom style setting or can be divided into four separate meeting rooms; and The Cypress Room, 1,653 square feet of space that can accommodate a cocktail reception for up to 200 guests.

L'Auberge also unveiled its luxury transportation fleet that will shuttle guests to the resort destination in unrivaled comfort and style. Included in the new multi-million dollar fleet are stretch limousines, executive motor coaches and an amphibious seaplane. The plane will ferry passengers directly to a unique room-side dock at L'Auberge quickly and conveniently.

"Our transportation fleet is unlike any other service offered in the region and it's yet another way we have set ourselves apart," notes Lepinski, vice president and general manager of L 'Auberge. "By offering such personal luxury transport and service we join a very elite list of destinations in the world that present this level of service. For our guests, the special L 'Auberge experience will begin the moment they step into any one of our Chrysler limousines, Prevost motor coaches or the Cessna Caravan-not just when they arrive at the door of our new resort-casino."

One of the resort's highlights is the Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L'Auberge, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by world-renowned golf architect Tom Fazio. The unique 7,000-yard, par- 71 championship course is the only public Fazio course in the state and features a combination of aquatic and natural vegetation on the edges of eight serene lakes to challenge golfers of all skill levels. The grand opening for Contraband Bayou Golf Club is scheduled for August 2005.

Spa du Lac offers guests a selection of services and treatments on par with the best spas from across the country. The 8,700 square foot spa features six treatment rooms for facials, massages and custom body treatments; a fitness center featuring Cybex cardio equipment and a weight training area; both men's and women's private locker rooms, saunas, whirlpools and vanity areas; and The Salon at Spa du Lac, a full-service salon offering hair styling, manicures, pedicures, professional make up services, sunless tanning and teeth whitening.

Book your next getaway at L'Auberge by calling a reservations agent toll-free at (866) 580- 7444; reservations are taken 24 hours a day. For more information about booking a meeting, wedding, special event or bus trip to L' Auberge, call (866) 370-7222 or send us an E-Mail. To learn more about L'Auberge, visit

Pinnacle Entertainment owns and operates casinos in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana and Argentina, and receives lease income from two card club casinos, both in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Company is currently building a major casino resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana and has been selected for two casino and related development projects in the St. Louis, Missouri area, pending approval of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and the Missouri Gaming Commission, respectively. For more information about Pinnacle Entertainment, call (702) 784-7777 or visit