$200 million contract awarded to build new Southland gaming resort and casino in West Memphis

by Wesley Brown (wesbrocomm@gmail.com) 1,050 views 

Los Angeles-based specialty construction giant Tutor Perini Corp. announced last week that one of its subsidiary companies, Gulfport Miss.-based Roy Anderson Corp. (RAC), has been awarded a $200 million contract to build Delaware North’s new Southland Gaming Casino and Hotel Project in West Memphis.

According to Tutor Perini officials, the company’s Mississippi construction firm that has completed several gaming industry projects across the U.S. will begin work immediately in West Memphis with substantial completion anticipated in January 2021. Most notably, RAC led the rebuild of the 262,000 square foot Penn National Gaming project, a 14-story, 292-room dockside casino complex on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that was leveled in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

The scope of work in Arkansas includes an expansion to Southland Gaming and Racing Park, company officials said, including a new 240,000 square foot casino complex and a 20-story, 300-room hotel in the Crittenden County bedroom community across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tenn.

In early November, Delaware North Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Jack McNeill told Talk Business & Politics that if the casino ballot initiative passed in Arkansas during the 2018 midterm election, the company would build a hotel and convention center in West Memphis.

At the time, an estimate of how long it would take to build was not available. McNeil said then that some of the current facilities might have to be modified to accommodate a project approaching $200 million.

“It would be a priority of the company to get it up and get it going,” said the Southland executive.

Initial details from Tutor Perini show the complex will feature new and expanded dining options, including a larger buffet and steakhouse restaurants, new food hall, coffee shop and player lounge. The signature component of the expansion project is the 20-story hotel tower, which will feature 216 standard rooms, 72 corner suites and 12 penthouse suites. Onsite parking will also be expanded via construction of a new covered garage with 1,250 spaces, company officials said.

Southland and Tutor Perini officials, however, were not immediately available to provide details on how many direct and indirect construction jobs the Arkansas project will support.

In fiscal 2018, publicly-traded Tutor Perini reported full-year profits of $1.66 per share on revenue of $4.8 billion. The California civil and specialty construction firm said that it has more than $2.5 billion of pending awards anticipated in the first quarter of 2019.

Key projects that the company has been awarded in recent months include the $800 million Minneapolis Southwest Light Rail Transit project, $244 million for various electrical and mechanical projects in New York, and a $100 million military facility project in Saudi Arabia. Company officials said the Arkansas project will be included in a sizable volume of first quarter backlog from pending awards.

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