BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The long process of changing owners is underway at the Margaritaville Resort and Casino in Bossier City.
As we reported earlier this year, Alabama-based PCI Gaming Authority is buying the resort, which opened as Shreveport-Bossier's newest casino in June 2013. The change in ownership is expected to be finalized early next year.
Anyone who has visited the property lately has noticed some of the big changes already being made there, prompting plenty of questions and speculation, but the man in charge at Margaritaville says those changes aren't because of the sale.
"It has nothing to do with the changeover. These are projects that we have budgeted in our 2016 plan," said Senior Vice President & General Manager, Barry Regula.
On Monday, Regula took us behind the construction lines to look at the demolition of the Margaritaville Cafe, and explained the reason for some of the biggest changes.
"The Margaritaville Cafe is a great concept for tourist destinations like Orlando or Las Vegas, where people come once a year," explained Regula.
"In Shreveport-Bossier, we have people that come back many times a year - sometimes many times a month."
The renovations don't come cheap. Regula says they're looking at a $2.5 million investment, and are focused on originality.
"Even though we are Margaritaville, there are many aspects of this particular resort that were home-grown that were developed here by us. Even restaurants like Jimmy's or the World Tour Buffet are our own concepts and they've done very well and we think we've been very successful at developing in launching new products for our customers to enjoy."
When the dust settles and demolition work is complete, Riverview Restaurant and Brewhouse will take the place of the cafe overlooking the Red River.
"Great wood-fired pizza tap beers from all over the state craft beers great wine great food," said Regula on what to expect from the new restaurant.
Riverview is the second of two new eateries in the resort. The other, their newly-opened Bamboo Asian Cafe. As for other changes that will come with the buyout, management says it's just too early to tell, but to stay tuned. Regula expects construction on the current projects to be complete by March of 2017.
Any additional changes, like talk of a poker room and golf course being added to the property, are not yet known. We're told they should be decided on sometime next spring.