Ameristar begins work on $240 mn hotel

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 d├ęcor
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
  “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.”