Bridge retrofit will cut into casino’s revenue
October 27, 2012 by James
St. Charles, Missouri, which is approximately 30 minutes from St. Louis via I-70, and in particular the Ameristar Casino, is bracing for a $2 million loss of revenue in 2013 due to work on the Blanchette Bridge, according to an article this week on KMOV.com.
The westbound lanes of the bridge will be closed beginning November 2, 2012, with traffic diverted to the eastbound lanes for the duration of construction. St. Charles’ director of finance, Kelly Vaughn, worries that drivers will be confused by the detour and decide against trying to reach the city at all. This will lead to a drop in revenue that the city currently receives from sales tax and from gaming at the casino.
St. Charles gets $1 for each casino admission, as well as 2% of Ameristar’s adjusted gross revenue. This is projected to add up to approximately 10% of the city’s revenue for 2013, or about $11m. The same sources are expected to yield approximately $12.9m by the end of 2012, nearly $2 million greater than next year’s anticipated total.
Vaughn says St. Charles has put some capital expenditures on hold in order to have enough money to continue funding police and fire services. These vital agencies are paid out of a general fund, with 76% of gaming revenue going into that fund. In order to make up for the shortfall, the city is filling current job openings from within, and has instituted a hiring freeze.
The city, in cooperation with Ameristar, might consider getting print companies to print flyers that show a map of the routes onto the bridge, and how to reach the casino during the bridge retrofit.