|By Tim Barker, St. Louis
Post-DispatchMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 7, 2007 -- Months of courtship came to an end Tuesday with the announcement that there soon will be a Four Seasons luxury hotel in downtown St. Louis.
Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced a partnership that will put the tony name on the 200-room hotel that's part of Pinnacle's $507 million Lumiere Place casino.
Pinnacle will own the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, but it will be managed by Four Seasons through a long-term management agreement.
Pinnacle also announced the casino will open for business on Dec. 19. The hotel will not open until early next year.
The deal between Pinnacle and Four Seasons has been in the works for more than a year.
Talks initially hit a snag as lawyers had to figure out a way to bring the brand into Missouri without creating potential legal hassles. That's because there is already an unrelated company in the state using a similar name: The Lodge of Four Seasons, which as been at Lake of the Ozarks since 1963.
In May, Pinnacle Chairman Daniel Lee said negotiations with the lodge were all but wrapped up and that the Canadian Four Seasons had hired a general manager for the St. Louis property.
Since then, the two companies have been working out a range of details, including revenue sharing and the types of amenities required for the hotel to meet the Four Seasons' expectations -- all rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and 42-inch plasma televisions, while the eighth floor features a landscaped rooftop pool area.
"This is a very complex deal. And it's a big step for both of us," said Todd George, general manager of Lumiere Place. "This is a first for us. It's the first time we've had someone else run one of our hotels."
Also on Tuesday, Pinnacle revealed the new name for the former Embassy Suites Hotel, which was purchased last year and will be connected to the casino with a sky bridge. The property is undergoing a $16 million renovation and will reopen early next year as HoteLumiere.
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