Chamber guests hear from Cabot, Cypress Bayou reps
Representatives of Cabot Corp. and Cypress Bayou Casino were guests at a St. Mary Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Forest Restaurant in Franklin Wednesday.
Steven Hubertus, facility general manager for the Canal Plant near Bayou Sale on the Intracoastal Canal, said the company has been in St. Mary Parish since 1952.
The company as a whole has been in operation for 131 years and is a worldwide operation.
Hubertus said carbon black products go into rubber compounds such as tires, belts, hoses, extruded products. “If you look at your car and anything that’s rubber or plastic that’s black it’s got carbon back in it,” Hubertus said.
Copy machine toners also contain carbon black as do inks, adhesives and other products.
Cabot has ventured into “purification solutions” utilizing activated carbon technology with the purchase of a pre-existing company. They also deal in specialty drilling fluids.
The company holds the top position worldwide in carbon black, inkjet currents, activated carbon and other areas.
“Our strength is our people, our portfolio, diversity in our businesses, our technologies and our global footprint,” Hubertus said. He stressed that safety, innovation, customer relations and respect for the environment are top priorities.
The company continues to expand its markets and portfolio, he said.
Regional sales for the fiscal year 2012 are evenly dispersed worldwide.
O’Neil Darden, director of sales and catering at Cypress Bayou Casino and a member of the Chitimacha Tribe, said the Raintree Village development is composed of Raintree Village, Raintree Commercial Center and Raintree Village Enterprise. It was begun in 1999 as a home sites development. There are still lots for sale.
Darden said the tribe and parish government constructed Ralph Darden Memorial Parkway in 2000, named in honor of the late tribal chairman. He said the road is in need of repairs and efforts are under way to address them.
First National Bank of Jeanerette opened on the site in 2003 in a building owned by the tribe and leased; Dollar General opened on purchased land in 2006; Treasure Bayou Hotel and Suites is a private enterprise that opened in 2010; and Raintree Market, a tribally-owned grocery store, opened in 2011 and is “doing really well,” Darden said.
Raintree Elementary School resulted from purchase of some acreage by the St. Mary Parish School Board and donation of them by the tribe. Darden said the school and other elements of the village help attract potential homebuyers.
The casino will have been in operation for 20 years in December, beginning as a 30,000 square foot bingo facility. Over the years it grew and expanded to the facility it is today.
There are 51 table games, nine poker tables and an average of 1,500 slot machines, with machines being removed and replaced regularly.
Restaurants are a major draw with dining at Mr. Lester’s, Rik Rak, Café Bayou, Loco’s Mexican Grill. Darden said Rik Rack started out as “Asian fusion” cuisine and has evolved into “Cajun-Asian.” He said Café Bayou rewards club card holders with discounted prices.
Minors were allowed to stay in the hotel when it was built, and are also allowed into Café Bayou via a specially marked path to the restaurant that they can follow, Darden said.
“We started all these child menus and most of the kids eat off the adult menus,” Darden said.
The hotel itself hosts meetings for groups and organizations and has much repeat business, Darden said.
The casino focuses on entertainment from “big name acts” twice a month, with Ronnie Milsap appearing this month for the second time.
Boxing has also been an entertainment draw, Darden said, and will continue to be featured.
The hotel is a 102-room facility with a boardroom, fitness center, boardroom and room service. Lodging includes high-end suites.
Future projects include a hotel expansion of perhaps an addition 100 rooms, pool, spa and other customer-recommended amenities.
The tribe will break ground soon a convenience store adjacent to the station with a 12-pump fuel station.