Culture / Newsy

Tilman Fertitta Donates $1 Million to Landry’s Employees Hurt by Hurricane Laura’s Lake Charles Devastation

Trying to Bolster a Reeling, Rebuilding Community

BY // 09.02.20

In April as a result of the devastating financial fallout from COVID-19, the Tilman Fertitta family provided $1 million in seed money for the Fertitta Entertainment/Employee Relief Fund. Now, the billionaire hospitality magnate is stepping up to the plate once again by announcing Wednesday that he is contributing $1 million to the Landry’s Employees in Lake Charles Relief Fund.

Landry’s has some 1,500 employees in southwest Louisiana whose livelihood and homes have suffered damage from Hurricane Laura to varying degrees.

Fertitta’s Golden Nugget Lake Charles casino took its hits from the 150 mph winds but was able to remain partially open to house first responders, national hurricane reporters (including Weather Channel reporters who broadcast live directly from the hotel even as other nearby casinos lost power) and critical infrastructure workers including CenterPoint Energy, Entergy and Kroger workers, plus state fire marshals and state police officers.

News reports included video of pieces of the roof of the Golden Nugget being peeled away by the heavy winds.

The Houston hospitality tycoon tells PaperCity that he hopes to reopen the hotel/casino in a few weeks. Anyone who witnessed the remarkably speedy recovery of Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou following the severe flooding of Harvey will have no doubt on the casino’s quick turnaround. This comes on the heels of the Golden Nugget Lake Charles casino just reopening in May after its COVID-19 mandated closure.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this terrible storm,” Fertitta says in a statement. “The Lake Charles community is one of our homes. We are eager to help our neighbors and team members throughout southern Louisiana as they face the long road to recovery in rebuilding.”

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The Category 4 storm hit land early Thursday near the Texas state line, tearing off roofs and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands. Estimates are that it could take weeks and weeks before power is restored to all damaged homes, residents and businesses. Billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses have been reported.

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