Ameristar Casino Reveals $240 Million Expansion Details - Friday 5th of May 2006

ST. CHARLES, Missouri – Ameristar Casino St. Charles has begun construction on a highly anticipated 25-story, 400-room all-suite hotel that will bring state-of-the-art amenities to the St. Charles riverfront. The hotel will pay homage to the historical architecture of the area with an impressive turn-of-the-century-style structure that exceeds the scale and scope of any previous project along the river.

Ameristar announced detailed plans for the hotel, including an outstanding selection of first-class in-suite amenities; an impressive indoor/outdoor pool including a distinctive landscape area; a tranquil and luxurious full-service spa; a new 2,350 space car parking garage, (increasing the total number of available spaces in the two parking garages to 6,100); and a 55,000 square-foot Conference and Meeting Center. The total cost of the construction is expected to be approximately $240 million, with the projected completion dates as follows: the second quarter of 2006 for the conference facilities; the fourth quarter of 2006 for the initial 1,400 spaces of the parking garage; and the end of 2007 for the hotel and remaining 950 spaces of the parking garage.

The distinctive design of the hotel and garage exterior was inspired by the architectural characteristics of the preserved buildings of St. Charles' historic Main Street and the newly-refurbished warehouse buildings of downtown St. Louis' Loft District. The grand hotel tower was painstakingly detailed to incorporate the time-worn quality of aged brick and decorative ornamental cast moldings indigenous to the historic structures of the area. Guestroom windows will mirror the reflective glow of night lights dancing across the nearby river.

Guests will enter the hotel from the property's main fountain area via an expansive glass-covered walkway that complements and expands on the existing iconic cobblestone streetscape. Upon reaching the hotel entrance, guests will be transported to a bygone era by an exquisitely-detailed grand canopy hand-forged from custom ironwork and glass.

Beyond the entrance, the hotel's sweeping two-story lobby will greet guests with scenic views of the Missouri River amid sophisticated luxury. The stunning contemporary but classic chocolate and red-toned décor incorporates plush draperies and premium leather furnishings in intimate seating groups framed by rich area rugs over marble flooring and lit by the glow of two striking fireplaces.

The all-suite hotel's 400 oversized rooms will offer some of the metropolitan area's most upscale accommodations. Designed to maximize enjoyment of the building's magnificent surroundings, all suites were designed with front bedroom entrances to showcase scenic views of the river and the city of St. Charles from the sunken living room area. All suites are dressed in a tailored warm palette of expresso, caramel, ivory and gold accented with cherry wood, emprador marble, inset frosted glass and satin nickel details. Custom furnishings include full height leather headboards, and create a comfortable haven featuring textural richness that focuses on line, color and form. A geometrically patterned marble stone floor greets guests at the entry. The luxurious amenities extend to the five-fixture bathrooms that include a whirlpool bathtub, a separate glass shower, matching vanities and an enclosed water closet as well as a LCD television screen. State-of-the-art amenities like high-speed wireless internet access and dual 42" plasma televisions in the living room and bedroom provide a technologically advanced environment.

Additionally, ten king spa suites will include a whirlpool bathtub situated within a window bay to take advantage of magnificent views, a dynamic wet bar and three 42" plasma televisions. The hotel's two Presidential Suites will further expand upon the plush amenities with high-end entertainment systems with surround sound and DVD players as well as three full bay windows each overlooking the river, gas-log fireplaces, a wet bar, a custom pool table and four 42" plasma televisions.

The property features an impressive indoor/outdoor pool, a unique pool deck and a distinctive landscaped area. Guests will be able to swim between the indoor and outdoor pools in two spectacular environments. Surrounded by tranquil fountains, the pool area also features both indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Adding to the lavish setting, the pool deck offers upscale chaise lounges, specialty seating areas and romantic fire pits. The expansive outdoor lawn area houses six cabanas with televisions and comfortable daybeds along with a meeting area for outside events.

Also on the pool level, the hotel's full-service spa WAV will pamper guests in a tranquil and relaxing water-themed environment featuring blue and green tones and ample architectural use of custom glass and water features. The 7,000 square-foot spa will offer a full menu of traditional and cutting-edge spa services in six private treatment rooms, including a dedicated facial room and a wet room reserved for scrubs and body washes. A full range of massage and facial treatments, eucalyptus steam rooms, massive whirlpools with waterfall features, dry sauna and a men's and women's lounge area are also available. The private women's lounge is bathed in natural light with one full-sized frosted glass wall adjacent to the pool deck. A retail boutique, a unique wave-shaped nail bar, comfortable custom pedicure banquettes, a relaxation dry lounge, complementary beverages and comfortable lounge furniture will complete the ultimate experience in tranquility for guests.

The 2,350-space parking garage will extend the classic design of the hotel and provide a new and even more convenient valet area for Ameristar guests.

"The addition of a four-diamond-quality hotel at our St. Charles property will extend Ameristar's ability to provide premium amenities and services for our guests," said Ameristar's President and CEO Craig H. Neilsen. "Ameristar St. Charles is already known as the premier gaming and entertainment facility in the Greater St. Louis region and our new hotel will bring a new dimension to the high-level service and quality that our guests have come to expect."

"In addition, I am pleased that our Company has made such a substantial investment in growing the local economy and furthering St. Charles' appeal as a national tourist destination," said Neilsen. "This project will not only bring numerous benefits to the community, but it will reflect Ameristar's commitment to excellence and solidify our position as the number one casino in the St. Louis metropolitan area."

The California office of Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo (WATG) are the Design Architects and Interior Designers for the project. WATG is the world's number one hotel, leisure and entertainment design firm, effectively creating the most successful hospitality destinations. Their design portfolio spans six continents and is well known for its destination and boutique resorts, including the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, The Mansion at MGM Grand, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. The Kansas City office of the St. Louis-based Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc. (PGAV) is the Architect of Record. PGAV is noted nationally and internationally for its design of destination attractions and hospitality facilities such as Disney's Discovery Cove, Marriott Plaza Hotel in Kansas City and the Sea World Hospitality Center. The St. Louis office of Walton Construction is the general contractor. The project will create 400 union construction jobs and add more than 100 new jobs to Ameristar's existing 1,900-Team Member workforce.

Ameristar Casino St. Charles, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASCA), brings the finest gaming and entertainment to the banks of the Missouri River, serving the entire metropolitan St. Louis area from its convenient location just north of the Interstate Highway 70 bridge near historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Established in 1994 as the first gaming facility in Missouri, the new Ameristar boasts a cobblestone streetscape inspired by the 1880's architecture of the St. Charles River Port District with seven dining and entertainment venues. The streetscape adjoins an all-new 130,000 square-foot casino vessel offering the largest selection of gaming options in the region, including 3,300 slot and video poker machines, 91 table games and a 19-table live poker room.

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