Monday, August 25, 2014

#212: Ameristar Casino St. Charles

There are a few casinos in the St. Louis area. On the Illinois side, you have the Argosy in Alton (formerly called the Alton Belle) and the Casino Queen in East St. Louis. Missouri has the Lumiere Place, River City, Hollywood (formerly Harrah's) and Ameristar. So why Ameristar Casino of all these places? And why is there a cake at a casino?

That was the question on my mind. Once you look at the cake, you'll get an idea. Ameristar just happens to be located very close to where America's first Interstate highway opened. After the Federal Aid-Highway Act passed in 1956, the state of Missouri was awarded contracts on paving interstate highways. One of them was the then-present road of Route 66 (now Interstate 44 which goes from Joplin, Springfield, Rolla to St. Louis). On August 13, 1956, the site of I-70 (near Ameristar) was awarded a contract, and at the same time, construction started for it. The rest, they say, is history. Interstates today are the best way to commute and travel on road trips. Say if you are traveling west of St. Louis via I-70, you can go to Columbia (MO), Kansas City, Topeka, or Denver. It ends out in the middle of the desert at Interstate 15 in Utah. If you're going East, I-70 can take you to Indianapolis, Columbus, and as far as Baltimore.

Little is known that there is some controversy on where the first Interstate started. Missouri, along with Pennsylvania and Kansas are states that claim to have it. Pennsylvania had the first traditional four-lane highway (the Pennsylvania Turnpike), which was the first of its kind. It was paved in 1940. Kansas, on the other hand, jumped the gun before the bill even passed (earlier in 1956), but was awarded a contract after Missouri.

The cake, which greatly focuses on the Interstate highway:
It's always nice to hear from the guy in the big chair about his cake pride

Back side of the cake

Right side of the cake

Mr. Clean? Nope, its Dwight Eisenhower who signed the Interstate act
Note: There was a rumor that this cake was originally supposed to go at the old Noah's Ark place in St. Charles.

1 Ameristar Boulevard, ST. CHARLES, MO, 63301
Cake artist: Amanda Leigh Blalock

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