- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

CHARENTON, La. (AP) - The Chitimacha tribe is preparing to renovate and expand its Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in St. Mary Parish.

A $20 million investment will add gaming, a new restaurant and a retail area to the casino, The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1IHUzdl ) reports.

The renovations also include a new cafe, a gift shop and a restaurant, according to Amy Jones, a communications consultant for the Chitimacha tribe.

“This opportunity will spring us forward to the next level . with a newer and more modern feel,” said Anthony Patrone, chief executive officer and general manager of Cypress Bayou.

Jones the casino will eventually also add changes to the gaming floor, including a new high-limit area for players. The hotel will also expand its pool area with a bar, lazy river and poolside cabanas.

The Chitimacha 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.

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

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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