Corporate overhead expenses declined $2.0 million or 31.1% year over year to $4.4 million in the 2012 fourth quarter. For the full year 2012, Corporate overhead expenses declined $8.1 million or 28.4% year over year. The reduction in 2012 fourth quarter and full year 2012 corporate overhead expense was driven principally by efforts to eliminate non-value added expenses at the Company's Las Vegas headquarters, as well as a ramp up of cost savings and property allocations related to the Company's shared service centers supporting its properties in the Midwest and Louisiana.
Ameristar transaction; Construction on Remaining Pipeline Projects to Commence
Carlos Ruisanchez, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, commented, "In December, we announced a transformative transaction in the proposed acquisition of Ameristar Casinos. We are excited about the prospects and opportunities this unique combination creates and what our combined companies will be able to accomplish once we close the transaction and complete the integration process.
"We continue to make progress on redeveloping River Downs into a gaming entertainment center. Demolition of the existing grandstand and related facilities is nearing completion and we plan to commence construction of the new gaming entertainment center by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Our plans call for the property to comprise approximately 1,600 video lottery terminals, four food and beverage outlets, a VIP lounge, over 2,000 parking spaces, and new racing facilities. As previously disclosed, the project is expected to cost $209 million, excluding license fees, original acquisition costs and capitalized interest, and we plan to open the facility in the second quarter of 2014.
"The expansion of River City in St. Louis remains on budget and is ahead of schedule. The project reached a significant milestone during the fourth quarter with the opening of a 1,600 space enclosed parking structure on November 21, 2012. In addition, significant progress has been made on construction of the hotel and multi-purpose event center elements of this project. We expect the event center to open in the second quarter of 2013 and the 204-room hotel to commence operations by the Fall. The opening of the garage has alleviated pressure on parking availability at the property, and we look forward to the hotel and event center rounding out River City's amenity set as those elements come online in 2013. $38 million of the $82 million budgeted for this project had been incurred through the end of the 2012 fourth quarter.