There are two main reasons why tourists come to Pine Bluff. The first reason is the Pine Bluff Inn & Club, a legendary landmark that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Visitors can enjoy live music and dancing, fine dining, golf, shops, sporting events and great lodging. The Club is located on a seven hundred-acre lake and is the only six-story building in the area. There are many spectacular views from the Club’s terrace. The casino is the other main draw.
Pine Bluff Resort & Casino are an expected two-million dollar casino, resort and event facility planned for development on a portion of the former Pine Bluffs land. The casino is expected to open in fall 2021. A temporary casino called Saracen Casino Resort opened on October2019. The permanent casino will be opened in the fall of 2021.
In early May of this year, The City of Pine Bluff received a bid for the casino license and title from AMK Homes Inc. This company owns and occupies the former Pine Bluff Inn and Club along with the adjacent Pine Bluffs Shopping Center, which is across the street. This is in the city of Pine Bluff on the former Pine Bluffs Park lands. The winning bid was for a total of one million dollars.
The second major winning bid was by a group of investors led by Jerry Brown. They purchased a tract of western lands owned by the Oklahoma Game and Fish Commission (OKGA). The tracts included Old Bridge and Deep Creeks. The investors brought in several major players to invest including Harry Keene, Tom Brown and John Temple. This group eventually formed the Juneau Investors Group, which is currently working on the upstream development authority application for the riverbed and lake front properties.
This group is in the early stages of development but is on schedule to break ground in late spring/early summer of 2021. Once complete they will break ground on the Bluff Casino, which could open in late 2021 or early 2021. The approved budget for the project includes funding for three new construction to be completed by fall of 2021. This means that the casino could potentially be operating by late 2021 or early 2021. It also means that the Bluff Casino will be adding to the already existing downtown Pinellas County Visitors Bureau, which is located on the site of the former Pinellas County Courthouse.
This casino project is expected to cost upwards of $500 million. It also includes plans for a hotel, restaurant and banquet facilities. The developer of the project is John Berrey, who has been a partner in several successful casino ventures in the past. John Berrey is listed as the majority stock holder on the Bluff Management Company. He has significant experience in the construction industry both as an individual and as owner of several successful companies.
The City of St. Petersburg has been involved in an agreement with John Berrey and his partners whereby the city will cover all costs of the construction. The agreement was contingent on the approval by the Tampa Bay lease review board for the casino proposal. If the lease is not passed it may have led to the termination of the agreement between the city and Berrey’s company. The casino is scheduled to be completed by the end of this November, which will be just in time for the St. Petersburg voters to decide on the future of the casino.
The timing for the grand opening is still undetermined. However, according to the schedule, it should take place sometime between the end of October and the beginning of November. This will give the company enough time to get the construction right. The company will also need time to get the needed licenses from the county and state. Once all these preparations are completed then we should expect that the casino site will be ready for its grand opening sometime in late 2021.