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by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), March 1, 2010 - As the curtains were pulled back to reveal the gaming floor of the new 90,000 square-foot River City Casino, cheers and applause rose from the large crowd attending a VIP sneak preview, Monday morning, March 1, 2010. The casino will officially welcome guests on Thursday, March 4, at 2 p.m.
For St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, the opening couldn't have come at a better time. "We've been talking about this since 1994," he stated with enthusiasm, "and we've finally done it." Dooley noted that nearly 80 acres of land that was non-productive and required an environmental clean-up of the abandoned former National Lead site is now a $380 million investment with 1,300 new jobs.
In an interview following the opening festivities, Congressman Russ Carnahan, observed that this project is a jackpot for jobs, not just for Lemay and south county, but for the whole region. "This is a road to somewhere," said the congressman, who worked to push the legislation through congress for funding to build the road. "This is a road back to our river roots heritage, a road back to entertainment and a road to future economic development opportunities."
The immediate economic impact on the south St. Louis County is visible as guests arrive via a new 1.5-mile-long, $23.8 million public roadway, River City Casino Boulevard, which provides access from the I-55 and South Broadway corridors.
The casino site, nestled along the Mississippi River, is surrounded by approximately 56 acres of parking and beautiful landscaping featuring fountains and ornamental lighting. Inside, lavish décor reminiscent of the 1904 World's Fair with a Las Vegas touch is lit with ruby glass and crystal globe chandeliers. Plush, adjustable, ergonomic chairs at more than 2,000 slot machines and approximately 55 table games, offer customers comfort and convenience during their visit.
The gaming experience is enhanced with nightlife entertainment including Judy's Velvet Lounge, a vibrant theatrical venue with 75 seats to watch live shows and DJs while enjoying speciality drinks and hearty bar food.
For patrons harkening to experience a Western Europe classic beer hall, the 1904 Beerhouse offers a 60-foot long bar, serving more than 100 beers by the bottle, and a custom ale produced for River City by the brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch. Customers can enjoy Kobe beef sliders and other beer food while viewing their favorite sports teams on flat-screen TVs surrounded by more than 200 authentic German beer steins lining the walls.
The Great Food Exposition, at the north entrance, offers a menu of Italian, American, Asian and seafood favorites, along with meats carved fresh on an authentic Brazilian-style Rodizio Grill, homemade pastries and pies. An art gallery of black and white images from the 1904 World's Fair, plaid carpets and brass embellishments enhance the River City's tribute to the historic Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
Guests seeking the ultimate upscale dining will enjoy the stunning Victorian-era architecture at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse. From the exterior, the façade is reminiscent of Judy Garland's family home in Meet Me in St. Louis while the interior motif is unmistakable Hello Dolly.
The incomparable selection of USDA Prime dry-aged steaks, signature salads, fresh sushi bar and wine list featuring more than 500 different labels from around the world is impressive. To enjoy world-class service in a comfortable setting surrounded by Italian marble statues, classic old world paintings, exquisite antiques, a piano player elevated behind a marble-topped bar and an outdoor seating area complete with a bronze fountain is simply an extraordinary experience to savor.
The Missouri Gaming Commission approved a gaming license last Wednesday for the new River City Casino, owned by Pinnacle Entertainment. This is the third license for the Las Vegas-based company, which owns and operates the Lumière Casino and President Casino in downtown St. Louis.
W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia and Paric Corporation of St. Louis teamed up as general contractors for the project. Architect for River City Casino was by Bergman, Walls & Associates and interior design was by Avery Brooks & Associates.
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