$20 million in renovations, expansion planned for Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in Charenton _lowres


A $20 million investment is about to be made in the tiny town of Charenton in St. Mary Parish as the Chitimacha Indian Tribe prepares to renovate and expand its Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel.

The project will add gaming to the casino and a new restaurant, as well as a retail area, said Anthony Patrone, chief executive officer and general manager of Cypress Bayou.

“This opportunity will spring us forward to the next level … with a newer and more modern feel,” Patrone said.

The renovations include a new Café Delphines, which will replace Café Bayou. Other planned additions include Bizzute’s Gift Shop and Mable’s, a hamburger, sandwich and salad restaurant, said Amy Jones, a communications consultant for the Chitimacha Tribe.

Construction will eventually add changes to the gaming floor, including a new high-limit area for gamblers, Jones said.

The Chitimacha Indian Tribe operates Cypress Bayou, the oldest of three full-fledged Native American casinos operating in Louisiana. The other two are Coushatta Indian Resort in Kinder and Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville.

A fourth, the Choctaw Pines Casino run by the Jena Choctaw Tribe, is a limited-gaming casino in Grant Parish.

Some of the investment money at Cypress Bayou will be outside. “The hotel’s expanded pool area will house a pool bar, lazy river and pool-side cabanas,” Jones said.

The sovereign nation of the Chitimacha Tribe is located in the town of Charenton, which has a population of fewer than 2,000 residents.