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Belle of Baton Rouge plans to move ashore with $35 million project

2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, September 15 2022 Sep 15, 2022 September 15, 2022 3:49 PM September 15, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – The Belle of Baton Rouge will move onto land following a vote by the state Gaming Control Board to approve the idea.

The project will cost $35 million and is expected to be done by April 2024.

There will be a 16,500-square-foot gaming floor in the existing atrium along the riverfront in downtown Baton Rouge. There will also be a 2,500-square-foot sportsbook and lounge.

“We see the high traffic that that brings… as well as an energy,” said Stacy Stagg, vice president of nongaming operations for CQ Holdings, which owns the casino.

There would also now be cruise line dock access. The docks would be used by American Cruise Lines, which would dock riverboats there for 10 hours.

The casino’s hotel will also reopen, at least in part, after a renovation. The hotel closed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project would create 200 new jobs, the board was told, after a drop following the hotel’s closure.

“It’s a massive building,” said Terry Downey, president and CEO of CQ Holdings. “There’s unlimited potential on this property.”

“We think we’re going to put out a beautiful phase one with that $35 million (project),” Downey told the board.

“You’re welcome to spend more than that if you’d like,” board chairman Ronnie Johns told Downey with a laugh.

“I’ve noted that from several conversations we’ve had, Chairman Johns,” Downey responded.

Demolition inside the hotel has already begun, Downey said.

This will be the second riverboat casino to move on shore in Baton Rouge.

Hollywood Casino broke ground in 2021 on a landside home. It’s expected to move there in the middle of 2023.

CQ Holdings owns both casinos.

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