Pinnacle delays Atlantic City construction

Pinnacle Entertainment has delayed construction plans for a proposed USD 1.5 billion megaresort in Atlantic City and said it may even abandon the project entirely if credit markets do not improve.

The original plan was to begin redeveloping the site of the old Sands Casino Hotel late in 2008, but that start date has been postponed until the second half of 2009, if it does in fact begin at all.

„I’ve been asked by a number of people, ’How the hell are you going to build in Atlantic City?’ The answer is, if the credit markets don’t improve, we won’t build,“ Chairman Dan Lee said during a conference call.

„If the credit markets stay exactly where they are today for the next two or three years, we’re not going to borrow the money to build in Atlantic City. It’s not going to make sense,“ Lee added.

CEO Kim Townsend says the company will continue to acquire surrounding land in the meanwhile in order to raise the size of the property to about 25 acres. „We continue to buy up as much land as possible because we would like to have a spectacular property on the largest canvas possible. The faster I buy up land, the faster the architects have their canvas,“ she said.