Isle of Capri Casinos has agreed to sell its Westlake property to a New Mexico developer for around $134.5m.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he New Mexico-based Laguna Pueblo has entered an agreement to purchase a commercial, riverboat casino in Louisiana for $134.5m (E119.7m).
Kicks Entertainment, newly formed by Laguna Development Corporation (LDC), the tribe’s economic development arm, plans to purchase the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles, including its 50,000-square-foot riverboat casino, a 493-room hotel, various food and beverage outlets, covered parking and other amenities.
“Our acquisition of the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles is the culmination of a two-year business development effort to expand LDC both within and outside of New Mexico,” said LDC CEO Jerry Smith in a press release. “Lake Charles is Louisiana’s largest casino market – with our operating principals of quality, service and value we expect to continue to generate solid financial results for our owners and investors.”
If the deal is approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board it will mark the tribe’s first foray into commercial gaming and Kicks Entertainment has announced that it is planning a range of improvements to the site including new slot machines, new décor and more food and beverage options.
It has a certain part of the market share, a certain kind of customer that this brand appeals to
LDC spokesman Skip Sayre said Isle of Capri remains a relevant gambling destination in the Lake Charles area, even amongst newer casinos like L’Auberge Casino Resort and the Golden Nugget, because of its stable target audience.
“It has a certain part of the market share, a certain kind of customer that this brand appeals to,” said Sayre. “First thing is we keep those customers and keep them happy, and then offer other opportunities as far as our products and services that will allow us to grow the business.”
Isle of Capri’s CEO Eric Hausler said the sale is expected to close in late fiscal 2017 to early fiscal 2018:
“We have enjoyed owning and operating Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles for more than 20 years, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of our team,” said Hausler.
“While we work on a smooth transition to Kicks Entertainment our focus remains on providing our customers with the great experiences they have come to expect from Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles.”
Hausler stated the company, which operates 14 other casino-hotels, intends to use the cash proceeds from the proposed transaction to reduce debt and for other corporate purposes.