December 11, 2012 at 21:21 PM EST
Pinnacle Entertainment Announces Major Donations in St. Louis Designed to Boost Downtown Tourism
Additional Gift of Valued Real Estate to Enhance River Ring Development of Vibrant Public Park

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:PNK) and Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels today 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.

"We are proud to be a part of the St. Louis tourism and business community," said Anthony Sanfilippo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, parent company of Lumiere Place. "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 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.

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-square-foot 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."

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.  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."

About Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels

Lumiere Place includes a 75,000-square-foot casino with 2,000 slot machines, more than 55 table games, and a dedicated poker room.  The resort boasts several restaurants including Stadium Sports Bar and Grill, Cielo, Asia, The Kitchen Buffet & Bistro and Peet's Coffee & Tea.  Nightlife attractions include the piano bar, Aqua, and the high-energy lounge, Globar.  Lumiere Place also features a large VIP lounge available to select casino customers.

Lumiere Place also includes Lumiere Link, a 400-foot tunnel featuring two sections of moving walkway.  It provides an easy and secure pedestrian link between St. Louis' central business district, the Lumiere Place resort and the Mississippi Riverfront.  Also located on the Lumiere Place complex are the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, the first and only AAA Five Diamond property in Missouri and the all-suite, upscale HoteLumiere which features a four-story waterfall inside the atrium.  To learn more about Lumiere Place, please visit http://www.lumiereplace.com, or follow us on Twitter @Lumiere Place.

About Pinnacle Entertainment

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates seven casinos, located in Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, and is redeveloping a racetrack in Ohio. In addition, Pinnacle holds a 26% ownership stake in Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd. (ACDL), an international development and real estate company currently developing Vietnam's first large-scale integrated resort on the Ho Tram Strip.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PNK. To learn more about Pinnacle Entertainment, please visit www.pnkinc.com .

The Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13121

CONTACT: PRESS CONTACT:
         Candice Coleman
         Candice.Coleman@lumiereplace.com
         314.881.7574
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