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Ameristar Casinos

Operator of eight casinos.

3773 Howard Hughes Pkwy., Suite 490 South
Las Vegas, NV 89169
Employees: 7,700
CEO: Gordon Kanofsky
Stock Symbol: ASCA

Website: http://www.ameristar.com

Career Site

Ameristar Casinos owns and operates eight casino properties in Nevada, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Mississippi.

The company's eight casinos in seven markets include: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel in East Chicago (Chicagoland area); Ameristar Kansas City; Ameristar Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb., and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss., and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes and The Horseshu in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest).

Although the company has headquarters in Las Vegas, it has no casinos in the city.

Total revenues for 2009 were $1.22 billion and the company reported a loss of $126 million.

“Over the past year, we substantially reduced operating costs, completed our last significant construction project and strengthened our balance sheet through a multi-phase debt restructuring,” said CEO Gordon Kanofsky. “Our efforts in 2009 have created a strong foundation for 2010 that we believe will result in a significant increase in cash available to retire outstanding debt and maintain quarterly dividend payments. We also believe we are well positioned to withstand continuing difficult economic conditions and drive significant growth when the economy improves.”


1954 - The foundation for Cactus Petes' future success began when "Cactus Pete" Piersanti moved his slot operation from Idaho to Nevada.

Don French moved his slot facility from Idaho to the small, unnamed Nevada town that later became Jackpot. French called his casino The Horseshu Club.

1956 - The Cactus Petes Desert Lodge was incorporated as Cactus Petes, Inc. in Jackpot, Nev., by Piersanti, A.L. "Bud" Gurley and Dale Wildman.

1958 - Cactus Petes hired Neilsen & Miller Construction of Twin Falls, Idaho to build the Desert Inn, a 15-room, single-row motel.

1964 - The management of Cactus Petes assumed leadership of The Horseshu.

1991 - Cactus Petes completed a $22 million hotel and casino expansion and the property became one of the largest gaming facilities in northeast Nevada. Construction work included enlarging the casino, adding a hotel tower, restaurants and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

1992 - As a direct result of the recently completed improvement project, Cactus Petes was awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond designation.

The future site of Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg, then known as Delta Pointe, was secured.

1993 - Ameristar Casinos, Inc. was founded as the parent company of Cactus Petes and Ameristar Casino Vicksburg. Stock began trading on the NASDAQ National Market on November 9.

1994 - In February, Ameristar Casino Vicksburg opened; it was the largest casino in that city and retains that distinction today.

1995 - The company's fourth property, Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs, was licensed and construction began.

1996 - In January, Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs opened; to this day it remains the largest riverboat in the state. 

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. relocated company headquarters from Twin Falls, Idaho, to its current location in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Ameristar Casinos entered into an agreement to acquire The Reserve Hotel Casino, which was under construction in Henderson, Nevada.

1998 - The Reserve Hotel Casino opened as Ameristar Casinos' fifth property. It was a fully themed off-Strip property.

For the first time, Ameristar revenues top $200 million.

2000 - Ameristar purchased properties in Kansas City and St. Charles, Missouri, from Station Casinos, and agreed to sell The Reserve to Station.

2001 - The Reserve Hotel Casino was sold to Station Casinos.
Ameristar Casino Vicksburg completed a $10 million renovation project.

Ameristar Casino St. Charles began construction of a new casino-entertainment facility.

Ameristar Casino Kansas City completed construction on its twin floating casinos, The River King and Queen, which join into a single 130,000 square-foot gaming facility.

Ameristar revenues more than double, to $550 million dollars.

2002 - The all-new $360 million Ameristar Casino St. Charles opened, featuring 130,000 square feet of gaming space along with seven distinctively themed restaurants and entertainment venues. Ameristar St. Charles was the first casino in Missouri to offer "coinless gaming" technology.

Craig Neilsen was recognized as "Best Performing CEO" by the American Gaming Association.

Ameristar Casino Kansas City completed construction on a new five-story parking garage.

2003 - Following a $64 million renovation project to the casino floor and restaurants, the all-new Ameristar Kansas City was officially unveiled in Sept. 2003. This premier gaming property provides 140,000 square feet of gaming space and is one of the 10 largest casinos in the U.S. The property features 11 diverse dining venues including the $6 million Amerisports Brew Pub, which boasts an unparalleled state-of-the-art audio-visual system.

Ameristar Casino Vicksburg opens its enhanced and rebranded Heritage Buffet restaurant after a $7 million renovation.

2004 - Ameristar purchases its seventh property - Mountain High Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado from Windsor Woodmont Black Hawk Resort Corp.


- Health Plan, including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage
- 401(k) Retirement Plan with a variety of fund choices and company match
- Time off with pay
- Company-provided life insurance, and additional voluntary life insurance, if desired
- Voluntary disability insurance
- Flexible spending accounts
- Employee Assistance Program that provides free, confidential consultations and referrals for personal, family and work-related problems
- Tuition reimbursement

Updated February 3, 2010