Margaritaville owner says casino will thrive in Bossier Parish

A closer look at plans for Margaritaville Casino in Bossier City

William Trotter stepped out of his SUV and transformed his back seat into a gallery. He was showing KSLA News 12 several never before seen images of the Margaritaville Casino. Trotter is the co-owner of the project and has plans to turn the vacant lot next to Bass Pro Shop on the Boardwalk along the Red River into what he called "paradise."

The structure will include a 30,000 square foot casino, 400 room hotel, and three restaurants. It is projected to bring in 1,500 jobs. The casino goes before voters in November but so far voters have had little knowledge or understanding of whether or not this pricey project will succeed in a struggling economy.

Trotter, however, said the casino would withstand the downturn.

"It's very stable here. It's very strong in Texas where we draw a lot of our customers from," said Trotter.

According to the Associated Press, the majority of Louisiana's state licensed casinos suffered losses in August. Thirteen riverboat casinos across the state, as well as four casino operations at horse tracks, took in approximately $185.5 million last year. That was down from the $193.4 million in August of 2010. That was a significant drop from the $224.3 million from July of this year.

Trotter said there was an explanation for those statistics.

"August was just an unusual anomaly but it's a normal drop off because of school. Your schedule changes."

Trotter said he called upon Innovation Capital, a market analysis company, to run a survey on the proposed casino and said Margaritaville could grow this market by upwards of 13 percent. He said that translates into millions.

"Our revenue projects show that we will bring to the bottom line the city and the parish over 12 million dollars. We'll bring them over two million dollars just in property tax to the parish."

If the project is approved by voters developers plan to break ground on the casino January 1, 2012 with a completion date of May 2013.