October 08, 2009 11:00 ET

Grand Opening Celebration of Luxury Hotel and Spa: Ameristar Casino Black Hawk Offers Destination Resort Amenities and Services Unequaled in Colorado Gaming Market

BLACK HAWK, CO--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCA), will celebrate the opening of its 33-story, 536-room luxury hotel and spa at Ameristar Casino Black Hawk this morning during a ceremony held at the Las Vegas-style gaming and entertainment destination. The new hotel is the tallest structure between Denver and Salt Lake City.

"Ameristar remains very enthusiastic about Black Hawk," said Ameristar Chief Executive Officer Gordon Kanofsky. "Our $235 million investment in this expansion will generate more local economic development by attracting guests who would be spending their leisure dollars elsewhere. We look forward to introducing Ameristar's exceptional guest service, gaming, luxury amenities and food and beverage offerings to an even broader range of guests."

The expansion makes Ameristar one of Gilpin County's largest employers, with more than 720 Team Members. In 2008, Ameristar Casino Black Hawk had a payroll of more than $22 million, and it has increased current staffing levels by approximately 45 percent over the previous year to accommodate the larger facilities and increased guest traffic.

"We are seeing a brand new demographic of guests," said Reggie Fullwood, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Ameristar Casino Hotel Black Hawk. "These are people who are new to our casino and new to our market, and they are bringing a lot of energy and enthusiasm with them."

In January 2009, Black Hawk voters passed a local referendum to implement Amendment 50, a statewide provision that liberalized several Colorado casino regulations. The new hotel and spa enable Ameristar to fully leverage the changes, which included increasing single-bet limits to $100, operating the casino 24 hours daily and adding the games of craps and roulette.

"With the investment we have made in the Black Hawk community, we are very proud of the jobs we have been able to create," Fullwood said. "Along with our industry partners, we are also proud of the benefit that Colorado will receive from increased tax revenues. The state of Colorado is expected to receive millions in gaming tax dollars, the bulk of which will go to cash-strapped community colleges."

In the four years Ameristar has owned the property, the Company has paid more than $63 million in casino and other taxes to Black Hawk, Gilpin County and the state. Amendment 50 is expected to increase guest traffic and spending for all Colorado gaming properties, thus increasing state and local tax revenues while creating more jobs.

With the opening of the new hotel and spa, Ameristar Casino Hotel Black Hawk has undergone a transformational expansion, offering guests:

  • A 33-story, four-diamond quality hotel tower with 536 well appointed rooms, including 64 suites. All rooms have wireless high-speed Internet access and such luxury furnishings as plasma-screen televisions, double vanities and separate tubs and showers. Each standard 450-square-foot guest room has a marble foyer and either one king-size or two queen-size beds. All suites include hot tubs, and some feature double-sided fireplaces and views of the Rocky Mountains. All rooms are furnished with top-of-the-line mattresses, luxurious linens and premium bath products.

  • The property's swimming pool, along with its indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas, are located on an open-air, heated patio on the hotel's roof. This pool level includes a movable glass wall to enclose the pool during winter months while preserving the panoramic mountain views. The patio surrounding the pool is made of dry-stacked, quarried stone, with wrought-iron details, and heavy wood beams and trusses.

  • The full-service ARA day spa is located within the hotel and features six treatment rooms, hot tubs, and sauna and steam rooms. The spa offers traditional spa services, including massages, scrubs, facials, pedicures and manicures. An adjoining fitness center with state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength-training machines is available to all hotel guests.

  • The new hotel tower contains more than 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Conference and meeting rooms are equipped with the latest technology, and the property's diverse restaurants can cater any event.

The new hotel tower complements existing amenities, including:

  • The 55,000-square-foot state-of-the-art casino, which includes more than 1,600 slot machines featuring ticket-in/ticket-out coinless slot technology, as well as a 14-table live poker room, 18 table games including blackjack, craps and roulette, classic gambling reels and the newest video-style games.

  • A wide range of food and beverage outlets.

  • The largest parking garage in the market, with more than 1,500 spaces.

Forward-Looking Information

This release contains certain forward-looking information that generally can be identified by the context of the statement or the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "believes," "estimates," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," "plans," "is confident that," "should" or words of similar meaning, with reference to Ameristar or our management. Similarly, statements that describe our future plans, objectives, strategies, financial results or position, operational expectations or goals are forward-looking statements. It is possible that our expectations may not be met due to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, and therefore we cannot give any assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. For a discussion of relevant factors, risks and uncertainties that could materially affect our future results, attention is directed to "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and "Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009.

About Ameristar Casino Hotel Black Hawk

Ameristar Casino Hotel Black Hawk offers an outstanding gaming experience to the Denver area at a desirable location just 40 minutes west of the city at Highway 119 and Richman Street in the Black Hawk/Central City gaming district. The facility offers more than 1,600 slot and video machines, 18 table games and 14 live poker tables, along with five dining and entertainment venues and the largest parking garage in the market, with more than 1,500 spaces.

About Ameristar

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by innovative architecture, state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar's focus on the total entertainment experience and the highest-quality guest service has earned it leading positions in the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nev., Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The Company has a portfolio of eight casinos in seven markets: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (Chicagoland area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City; Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb. and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss., and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Casino Hotel Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest).

Visit Ameristar Casinos' web site at www.ameristar.com (which shall not be deemed to be incorporated in or a part of this news release).

Contact Information

    Heather Leigh
    Public Relations Manager
    Ameristar Casino Black Hawk
    (720) 946-4123 direct
    (303) 250-0204 cell
    Email Contact