New riverboat casino and hotel is expected to open in December 2011

Pinnacle Entertainment has unveiled expanded plans for its riverboat casino and hotel in Baton Rouge, La., raising its investment to $357 million from $250 million with an opening projected in December 2011.

The new plan doubles the number of hotel rooms to approximately 200, adds a covered parking garage and includes 1,857 gaming positions, which is 257 more than in the preliminary plans.

The plans are subject to approval from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Pinnacle has begun construction of the casino and site excavation activities for the project, which is located on 575 acres the company owns.

“Current market research indicates that a very significant portion of the adult population in the Baton Rouge region bypasses existing gaming options and travels two to three hours to other gaming markets,” said Pinnacle CEO Anthony Sanfilippo. “The expanded scope of our project will address this customer demand with a high-quality entertainment option that will be significantly closer to potential guests.”