Before the Nugget, L'Auberge, and the Isle, we had Player's Island, the first casino in Lake Charles. Merv Griffin would come on TV and tell us about the all-new Player's Island opening up in Lake Charles. It opened in 1993 to very mixed reviews from our more conservative SWLA residents. I can remember my dad driving us down to the Civic Center to watch the boats roam around the lake and thinking that was the neatest thing to watch.

In 1999, Harrah's back-doored a deal for just twenty-five cents more per share to acquire the entire Player's franchise. In early 2000, it was a done deal and we were introduced to the new Harrah's Casino in Lake Charles. The property was updated and was the spot in Lake Charles to go to. Its giant parking garage was lit up and cars were coming in and out. Well, that was until 2005.

Hurricane Rita is still considered one of the top five most intense Atlantic Hurricanes, and we all know it to be true here in SWLA and SETX. It devastated the area, leaving many with absolutely nothing left to their name but the clothes on their backs. Harrah's Casino felt some of the devastation. Their two boats were simply docked on a floating pier that was blown onshore. One boat was left beached on the I-10 beach after the storm surge went down. This was the nail in the coffin for the now five-year-old property.

Now, we are left with a giant eyesore. The property was purchased by Pinnacle Entertainment shortly after, then "donated" back to the City of Lake Charles after Pinnacle wasn't allowed to have two casinos in one area. The main hotel tower was demolished, leaving the parking garage. It has been tagged, ransacked, rummaged, and it's just an all-around ugly piece of Lake Charles history that we cannot stand to look at. Until Porche Aerial Imagery flew a drone over it, that is!

Porche Aerial Photography

It might sound like a cliché, but sometimes the ugliest things have a beautiful side. Someone has apparently written Hamlet's speech in Act 1 in huge letters on top of the garage.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely,
The pangs of dispised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear, [F: these Fardels]
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment, [F: pith]
With this regard their Currents turn awry, [F: away]
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons
Be all my sins remember'd -William Shakespere

Thank you to Porche Aerial Photography for allowing us to use their pictures from their Facebook page.

Porche Aerial Photography