Friday, March 05, 2010

Views from River City impressive

With over $400 million invested, the new River City Casino in South County raises a lot of curiosity. To find out more about it, I ventured over there this morning for a look.

The location is rare in St. Louis: a true riverfront setting. Just south of the confluence...that is the confluence of the Mississippi River and River Des Peres, you find it: an entertainment oasis equal to or superior to anything of its kind anywhere in the midwest. In fact, as I was walking up to the shiny gold metal and sparkling glass entrance, the man walking next me had driven all the way from Michigan to check out the place.

It was early, so the place was pretty empty. Workers were busy on ladders makinig little fixes. The gaming floor had not yet opened. I only got a little glimpse of one area of the casino. But it was all very nice. If you're into the gaming lifestyle, this place will keep your interest.

For me, it was the outside areas that were the most interesting. The overall site is huge. It's got to be a couple hundred acres. And it sits right next to the Mississippi River. The water is less than 100 feet away. There are relics of historic shipping operations right across the street from the main casino entrances. One of them is an old round house structure that appears to have served as an old freight office. Hopefully these authentic riverfront effects will be preserved for the long term interest of the community.

From outside the casino you have panoramic views of the river on one side and the bluffs on the other. The historic convent adjacent Notre Dame High School is prominent on top of the bluff. Given its size and unique setting, it's amazing that this site was available for this project. I confess to not knowing the history. Perhaps it was once an industrial site with lots of contamination, thus abandoned for years?

Whatever it was before, there's little sign of any of that history today. Now it's a first class casino, situated right alongside the South St. Louis riverfront, offering locals and visitors alike a rare opportunity to get up close and personal to the Mississippi River.


Jason M. Stokes said...

Thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Apparently, it's on the site of the "National Lead" facility that the county used to own. From the P-D "It was contaminated. It was in a flood plain. And there was no way to get there," said Denny Coleman, president of the St. Louis County Economic Council. "But Pinnacle made this a great site."

Sounds like a good reuse of a former contaminated site.

Darknight said...

Any pics? :-)

Becky said...

Hey there, I just discovered this blog when I was looking for, of all things, a place to take my yard waste since the city has decided to relabel our Yard Waste dumpster in our alley as "No Yard Waste". *sigh*

Anyway, I live on Tennessee Ave over by the Schnucks plaza at 55 & Lindbergh, & I was amazed when we went over to River City on Thursday, to see just how close to the Mississippi we really are here! I had no clue, I don't get over around Broadway much. But my husband & I were thrilled to see that little service road alongside the casino property that runs above the river. I can't wait for the weather to stay as nice as it is today so we can start heading over there for daily walks! :)

Great blog, I'll definitely be back!

(you wouldn't happen to know where I can take my yard waste, would you? :) )

Jason Toon said...

When I lived in Lemay, my ne'er-do-well friends and I used to wander around this area. It was eerie.