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Ameristar Completes Acquisition of Colorado Casino

22 December 2004

LAS VEGAS – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASCA) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Mountain High Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. The transaction adds the largest casino in Colorado to Ameristar's portfolio and increases the company's geographic diversification.

Ameristar acquired the property from Windsor Woodmont Black Hawk Resort Corp., which was operating as debtor-in-possession in a Chapter 11 case before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. The purchase price was approximately $117 million in cash, plus the issuance of 58,943 shares of Ameristar's common stock valued at $2.5 million.

Ameristar intends to invest approximately $90 million in capital expenditures to improve the competitiveness of the property. The capital improvements include reconfiguring and expanding the gaming area, introducing cashless slot technology and other gaming equipment upgrades, constructing a 300-room AAA Four Diamond-quality hotel and additional covered parking, upgrading the food and beverage outlets and adding a casual dining restaurant. All of these improvements are expected to be completed during 2005, with the exception of the hotel, which is expected to be completed by early 2007.

The company plans to rebrand the property as Ameristar Black Hawk once the first phase of enhancements is complete. As with all Ameristar properties, Ameristar Black Hawk will offer a state-of-the-art gaming floor, a wide range of high-quality dining and entertainment venues and outstanding guest service.

"We are excited to complete the acquisition of Mountain High Casino," said Craig H. Neilsen, Chairman and CEO of Ameristar. "Mountain High is a high-quality property with an excellent location in one of the major gaming markets in the United States. We are eager to begin our enhancement and expansion plans for the property immediately. The acquisition will not impact our ability to continue our cash dividend policy or to pursue other development opportunities."

Mountain High Casino is an upscale gaming and entertainment facility located in the center of the Black Hawk gaming district, approximately 40 miles west of Denver. The 425,000 square-foot facility includes a 57,000 square-foot casino with approximately 1,000 slot machines and 24 table games (including poker). In addition, the property features a steak and seafood restaurant, a buffet and food court, a 5,000 square-foot entertainment showroom that seats approximately 500 people and a parking garage with space for approximately 800 vehicles, among other amenities.

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