Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK) may have come up short in its bid to acquire Aztar (NYSE:AZR), but it hasn't taken the company long to regroup. If anything, investors breathed a sigh of relief when management held firm and refused to overpay for what would have been a prime redevelopment opportunity on the Las Vegas strip. By walking away from the deal, Pinnacle has essentially freed up a few billion dollars of capital that will be needed to fund an increasingly busy development pipeline.

At the same time, the company has pocketed around $45 million (after the investment bankers received their cut) in breakup fees and expenses. Those proceeds, combined with a recent $180 million stock offering and the sale of two card clubs in California (which netted $27.7 million in pre-tax gains), have left the company with nearly $380 million in cash on the balance sheet.

This strengthened financial position has given Pinnacle added flexibility to pursue other ambitious projects. In the meantime, recently announced second-quarter results suggest the company remains on track to deliver exceptional growth rates this year. For the period, adjusted EBITDA spiked 80% to $54.5 million, on revenues that climbed 51% to $228.8 million. While those numbers look good on the surface, they are also somewhat misleading.

Much of the gains can be traced back to Boomtown New Orleans, where revenues were up 82% and EBITDA jumped at twice that rate. Like Boyd Gaming's (NYSE:BYD) Treasure Chest casino -- whose EBITDA nearly tripled last quarter -- Pinnacle's New Orleans property has been the beneficiary of two temporary conditions: an influx of relief workers with money and time on their hands, and a distinct lack of competition in Mississippi, which is only now beginning to regain its footing.

Nevertheless, while the resort's production will certainly moderate from here, it continues to produce robust results, particularly considering Harrah's (NYSE:HET) downtown New Orleans casino has been back up and running since February.

Meanwhile, the L'Auberge Du Lac resort in Lake Charles, La. was responsible for the remainder of the gains. Since the casino only opened late last May, any year-over-year comparisons can basically be thrown out the window. Still, the property did post hefty profits of nearly $18 million, on more than $77 million in revenues.

The L'Auberge Du Lac -- which features a 26-story hotel (with more rooms on the way), a marina, a Tom-Fazio designed golf course, and one of the nation's largest single-deck riverboats -- has quickly overtaken Belterra to become Pinnacle's flagship property. The resort has also surpassed Harrah's Horseshoe in Bossier City as the top-grossing riverboat casino in the state. (The company hasn't broken out RevPAR for the property, but with packed crowds and daily room rates routinely above $200, I'm guessing it's impressive.)

Pinnacle is essentially doubling down in the Lake Charles market, agreeing to an asset swap with Harrah's that will give the firm control of a hotel and two operating licenses, one of which will be used for the new Sugarcane Bay resort. Management has recently unveiled preliminary plans for the $350 million Caribbean-themed property, which will sit adjacent to the L'Auberge Du Lac on scenic Contraband Bayou. Pinnacle is expecting both high-end properties to draw heavily from an affluent base of gamblers in nearby Houston.

As for the firm's other properties, yesterday's results were somewhat mixed. EBITDA margins expanded more than 500 basis points at Boomtown Bossier City, but earnings were flat at Belterra, and down sharply in Reno. However, the Reno resort could see traffic pick up when Cabela's (NYSE:CAB) soon opens up next door.

All things considered, Pinnacle's second-quarter growth may be misleading, but with two upscale properties under construction in St. Louis, a proposed gaming and entertainment facility in Pennsylvania, and several developments on the international front, they just might be indicative of what's ahead.

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Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter would like to eventually visit L'Auberge Du Lac. He owns shares of Boyd, but none of the other companies mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.