When you wish upon Ameristar, you can hit the jackpot on land or on
boat. Ameristar Casinos owns six casino hotels and two casinos.
Properties include Ameristar St. Charles and Ameristar Kansas City
(both in Missouri), Ameristar Black Hawk (Colorado), and The
Jackpot Properties (Nevada). Ameristar Casino Vicksburg in
Mississippi is a permanently docked riverboat casino on the
Mississippi River, and Ameristar Casinos' Council Bluffs
(Iowa) riverboat casino sits on the Missouri River.
Ameristar's casinos offer slot machines (the majority of gaming
sales), blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker. The casinos also
include movie theaters, shops, entertainment arenas, restaurants,
bars, and private clubs.
The regional casino company's business model operates on a
strategy of serving a clientele within driving distance of its
properties. For example, its Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs
serves the Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area and southwestern Iowa,
while its Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg serves Jackson,
Mississippi and Monroe, Louisiana, and its two properties in
Jackpot, Nevada serve Idaho and the Pacific Northwest.
Ameristar's net revenues for fiscal year 2011 were
about $1.21 billion, a $25.2 million (about 2%) increase from
$1.19 billion in 2010. Revenues improved at six out of eight
locations that year. (The exception was its Jackpot
properties, where revenues remained relatively flat.)
The company attributes its success to its high quality guest
experience, cost containment efforts, and an effective marketing
strategy. Despite its revenue gains, Ameristar's net income
decreased from $8.6 million in 2010 to $6.8 million in 2011, thanks
to a pre-tax loss on early retirement of debt of $85.3
The company in 2012 acquired a riverboat casino project under
development in Lake Charles, Louisiana for $32.5 million.
Ameristar's plans call for a dockside casino with 1,600 slot
machines and 70 table games, and a hotel with at least 700 rooms.
The company bought the project to expand its geographic
presence, and will market the casino to players from southeastern
Texas (including Houston) and southwestern Louisiana.
In 2011 the company bought back 45% of its outstanding
shares from the estate of its late founder, The Craig H. Neilsen
Foundation, representing more than 80% of Ameristar's
holdings. Craig Neilsen, the former chairman, president, and
CEO of the company, died in 2006 and his controlling stake in
Ameristar moved to his trust. The company made the share buyback in
order to return value to shareholders and leave public shareholders
in greater control of the company. As part of the transaction,
Ameristar refinanced more than $2 billion in debt.
▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description