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Grand Palais Casino riverboat says farewell to Lake Area

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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Westlake, LA (KPLC) - It was the final voyage of Isle of Capri’s Grand Palais Casino riverboat, the last of the casino riverboats left in the Lake Area.

The Grand Palais Casino riverboat headed south Sunday morning, a farewell to the riverboat that occupied these waters for the last 25 years.

The last time the boat was loose from her berth was during Hurricane Laura.

“Leaving the area, I’m a little sad to see it go,” Lake Charles resident Jodi Bourgeois said. “To me, having it gone from here it’s, you know... That’s one of the first things we saw after the hurricane is the river boat up against the I-10 bridge with the refinery fire behind it.”

Bourgeois said though she’s sad to see the boat go, she’ll hold on to the memories.

“For me, it’s pretty significant,” Bourgeois said. “My mom and my grandpa are now deceased, and so, I have memories of us going every Monday and eating lunch there at the buffet.”

Others remembering their good times and winning money while gambling.

“It’s good memories, good concerts, good times, I won $8,000 dollars there one time. Yeah, it was fun,” Lake Charles resident Alison Nelson said.

“The time when I won! When I won $800. That was my favorite memory from there,” Lake Charles resident Roger Jackson said.

The casino boat housed slots, tables, a baccarat room and a poker room.

Looking ahead as the Isle of Capri works to remodel into a land-based casino. Jackson said he doesn’t mind the riverboat leaving.

“Doesn’t matter if its on the water or not, I’m still going to go every now and then,” Jackson said.

The Isle of Capri is changing its name to the Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles and anticipates reopening in the fall of 2022.

“I am excited to see what it brings, you know, as far as the economy impact, as far as jobs go,” Bourgeois said. “It’s going to be good I think. We need something new. We need to brighten up the area since all of the destruction, so I think it will be good.”

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