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Downtown St. Louis Receives Donations to Boost Tourism
The National Blues Museum, located at 6th and Washington Street within the new Mercantile Exchange (MX) District, is one of several not-for-profit initiatives in downtown St. Louis receiving major donations from Pinnacle Entertainment and Lumiere Place Casino.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 12, 2012 - Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels have announced a series of major donations to not-for-profit initiatives in its downtown neighborhood and to the City of St. Louis. The financial contributions are in addition to Pinnacle Entertainment gifting a valued piece of real estate in the
Lumiere Place area for future development.
In a release, Anthony Sanfilippo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, parent company of Lumiere Place, said, "We are proud to be a part of the St. Louis tourism and business community. Partnering with Mayor Francis Slay and national treasures such as the Gateway Arch Foundation, we will continue to promote the growth of tourism in the region and
provide new economic benefits to the City of St. Louis and the State of Missouri."
The National Blues Museum, a 501(c)(3) organization, will receive a $6 million donation, which is the foundational contribution for the Museum's soon to be announced campaign to raise the remainder of the funds.
The 23,000-squarefoot National Blues Museum will offer an interactive experience that includes a mix of artifacts and technology-driven exhibits. This emerging cultural attraction will showcase the Blues as the foundation of modern American music and illustrate its rich history. Upon opening, projected for 2014, the Museum will include an intimate performance venue, highly interactive
touch screen exhibits and educational programming that will include onsite and in-classroom opportunities to explore the history of Blues music and its influence on rock and roll, hip hop, jazz, gospel, and R&B. Public programs will feature intimate performances, lectures, screenings of documentaries and other films, and Q&A sessions with national artists and music industry professionals.
The museum will be located on Washington Avenue within the new MX District in the heart of downtown St. Louis, within walking distance of a variety of attractions including the Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, and Lumiere Place.
"Thanks to Pinnacle Entertainment and Lumiere Place's generous donation, the National Blues Museum will be able to begin construction much sooner than anticipated," said Robert Endicott, chairman of the National Blues Museum and partner at Bryan Cave. "This contribution is a tremendous start for our capital campaign. We are extremely appreciative to Pinnacle Entertainment for helping make the National Blues Museum a reality for St. Louis and for Blues music fans everywhere."
The CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will receive a $5 million donation to advance the initial implementation of a transformative plan to connect downtown to the river and revitalize the Arch grounds to increase tourism.
The CityArchRiver design includes the addition of a park over a portion of Interstate 70 just west of the Arch, allowing visitors to travel to and from the riverfront by bike or by foot with ease. Additional improvements to the connections between Lumiere Place, the Washington Avenue and the Mercantile Exchange (MX) entertainment districts, Laclede's Landing and the Arch grounds will provide simplified and welcoming vehicular and pedestrian access.
"Pinnacle Entertainment and Lumiere Place are great neighbors to the Gateway Arch. This contribution will enable us to keep pace with our work to transform the Arch grounds and weave our region and the Arch together, as they should be," said Walter Metcalfe, chairman of the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation.
Great Rivers Greenway will receive the donation of a parcel of real estate currently owned by Pinnacle Entertainment, which is a key link in GRG's plans for a continuous River Ring greenway system to more fully connect the St.
Louis region. The land is located east of Lumiere Place, bounded by Carr Street, Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard, Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and North Commercial Street.
GRG's plans to raise the grade level of Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard on the St. Louis Riverfront to alleviate flooding of the street during most high water incidents.
The donation of this land will also help with GRG's plans to raise the grade level of Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard, designed to alleviate flooding of the street during most high water incidents common to this part of the Mississippi River and provide opportunities to enjoy the river on a promenade and a dedicated trail. The connection of the Confluence and Mississippi River Greenways at the Arch will provide the backbone of the River Ring, allowing
people to ride, walk and enjoy the river.
"The Pinnacle Entertainment land is a key link in our plans to build out the River Ring; it will allow development of a public park north of Eads Bridge and adjacent to the trail." said Susan Trautman, executive director of Great Rivers Greenway. "Thanks to Pinnacle Entertainment and Lumiere Place, people will have an opportunity to not only ride the trail, but will be able to spend
time with friends and family in a vibrant public park adjacent to the Mississippi. We are deeply appreciative of their generosity."
The City of St. Louis will receive an additional $500,000 to fund supplemental police activities in the area, the nature of which will be determined by the City and the St. Louis Police. This donation will be paid in $100,000 increments over a period of five years.
In total, these donations fulfill a portion of the Redevelopment Agreement between Pinnacle Entertainment and the City of St. Louis, which called for the company to make additional investments and spur development in the area around Lumiere Place within five years of the property's opening. Lumiere opened on December 19, 2007.
"Lumiere Place has been an important part of downtown since it opened in 2007. Today, by making significant commitments to Downtown, the Arch and to improving public safety, Pinnacle Entertainment has once again demonstrated their commitment to St. Louis," said Mayor Francis G. Slay. "These donations will make a big difference for Downtown, the City, and entire region. I am grateful for Pinnacle Entertainment's corporate citizenship."
"We see each of these projects as a positive way to strengthen our downtown community, creating a more dynamic place for our team members to live and work and our guests to enjoy," said Neil Walkoff, Executive Vice President of Regional Operations for Pinnacle Entertainment. "These partnerships are a rewarding way to significantly improve quality of life in our
neighborhoods and to attract new visitors to the region."
McCaskill, Blunt Score Win for St. Louis Manufacturer
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 9, 2012 - Manufacturers such as Missouri's Unico, Inc. received a boost yesterday when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation that will make permanent a waiver to ensure certain products are no longer classified in a way that subjects them to unnecessary federal regulations. The legislation had been slightly modified in the U.S. House and required an additional Senate vote before heading to the President's desk.
"Small businesses and manufacturing jobs like these are critical to Missouri's economic success, and I'm going to fight every way I know how to give them the opportunity to succeed and grow," McCaskill said. "These regulations never made sense for manufacturers like Unico, and I'm glad we were able to get rid of the unnecessary burden."
"This is a great example of how working to cut excessive government regulations provides small businesses with the chance to grow and create more jobs. I will continue fighting to relieve costly and unnecessary regulatory burdens for small businesses in Missouri like Unico, and I hope President Obama will move quickly to sign this bill into law," said Blunt.
"This is a huge win for our company, workforce and the local economy," said Unico, Inc.'s President Shawn Intagliata. "Both of our Missouri Senators worked hard on this and really looked out for our small business-ensuring that Unico had the certainty we needed to keep our business successful and growing."
The Enabling Energy Saving Innovations Act included provisions from the SDHV Energy Efficiency Standards for America Act-which had strong bipartisan support. Unico, Inc manufactures small duct high velocity (SDHV) heating and cooling systems. For over ten years, Unico, Inc. has been seeking to codify an exemption from Department of Energy regulations that mistakenly lumped SDHVs with traditional heating and cooling products despite the fact that SDHVs are more efficient systems. This classification resulted in a loss of sales for Unico, Inc.
Liberty Memorial One Step Closer to Becoming National World War I Memorial
The Museum was designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, one of the pre-eminent museum exhibit designers in the world today. The culmination of a $102 million project, the Museum opened to great national fanfare and critical acclaim on December 2, 2006.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 9, 2012 - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's effort to designate the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial is one step closer to success with unanimous approval from a U.S. House panel.
"This is great news for Kansas City and for the Liberty Memorial, where folks have worked tirelessly to commemorate the lives of our men and women who gave so much to their country serving in the 'Great War,'" McCaskill said. "Dedicating this site is an important way to ensure future generations understand the impact this war had on our nation and all the freedoms we enjoy today."
The legislation approved by the House Natural Resources Committee in an effort led by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, includes the language introduced by McCaskill last year that will specifically designate the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
As the WWI centennial approaches, the legislation also provides for the formation of a commission to design and implement a proper nationwide commemoration of the centennial. The commission will be based in Kansas City and will feature the city as a focal point in the development of the centennial activities.
Gov. Nixon Concludes Three-Day Trip to Visit Missouri Troops Serving in Kuwait and Afghanistan
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, (SLFP.com), December 9, 2012 - Gov. Jay Nixon departed from Afghanistan, December 6, after a three-day trip to Kuwait and Afghanistan to meet both with U.S. military leaders and with troops from Missouri serving in the Missouri National Guard and the regular military.
This was his third trip as Governor to the Middle East; Gov. Nixon traveled at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Defense, which facilitated the trip for him. Gov. Jay Nixon met both with U.S. military leaders and with troops from Missouri serving in the Missouri National Guard in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
On Monday (Dec. 3), Gov. Nixon had separate meetings at the Pentagon with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and with Gen. Frank Grass, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Grass is a native of Missouri. The Governor also visited with troops recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while in Washington.
On Tuesday (Dec. 4), the Governor's delegation arrived at a U.S. military installation in Kuwait. He was able to meet with soldiers of the 935th Aviation Support Battalion, which is based in Springfield; and of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, which is based in Sedalia. The Governor also had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with regular military personnel from the Show Me State.
On Wednesday (Dec. 5), Gov. Nixon flew from Kuwait to Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, he traveled to forward operating bases to meet with soldiers of the Missouri National Guard's 1138th Engineer Company, which is based in Farmington and Fredericktown. The soldiers in this unit help clear mines and other explosive devices. The Governor also had dinner on Wednesday evening with troops from Missouri.
"Being over here for the third time continues to give me a better perspective on how our armed forces are out there 24/7, getting the job done," Gov. Nixon said. "They and their families deserve and have earned our continuing respect, thanks and support. It has been an honor to spend this time with these brave Missourians."
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