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tombarnes

Harrah's Biloxi

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Harrah's Is Acquiring Additional Land

Harrah's is behaving in Biloxi just as they do in Las Vegas. As noted in the article below, Harrah's and Golden Nugget are in arace to see who can assemble the most parcels. The Isle of Capri has joined in the game as well. Sadly, anything in the way of this very active real-life Monopoly game is certain to be crushed. Most of what was worth preserving on Point Cadet was washed away with Katrina, so it's probably best to accept it and concentrate upon what will be built in its place. As for this, I now understand why Harrah's has ben so secretive. It could be quite some time before their real plans are revealed.

The Sun Herald

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Bayview Reopens August 17th...More Details To Be Released in November

Apparently, the nature of the new Harrah's property in Biloxi won't be known until November. The acquisition of the former Casino Magic Hotel should be completed by that time. A temporary casino in the former Bayview Hotel is scheduled to open on the 17th of August. The hotel will also reopen at that time with about 500 rooms. I assume that the former Casino Magic building will be demolished in the new plans. This had better be worth the wait. More details here...

Gulf Coast News

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Harrah's Reopens the Grand Casino Tonight

The first phase of the new resort complex Harrah's has in store for Biloxi will reopen toniht. The former Bayview tower of the Grand Biloxi has been completely redesigned with a cleaner, more modern appearance. The company is hinting at the possibility of having several casinos on the land they are acquiring and across the street where the Islandview tower stood. Possible brands include Rio and Horseshoe.

The Sun Herald

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Harrah's Backpedals

Citing high construction costs and "uncertainty" over the proposed Choctaw casino (a mostly dead issue by now), Harrah's is backpedaling on its commitment to build a proper resort in Biloxi. Given their loud and lavish promises of a year ago, they should be held to their commitment. Their reopened property in Biloxi is barely adequate. All in all, a fairly repulsive way to do business.

The Sun Herald

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If the plans in Tunica actually move forward, it could be very intresting to everyone. I don't see the two markets as being in direct competition. Sure they're in the same state, but the markets are distinct. I'd love to see both markets develop to their potential. If Harrah's doesn't step in and fulfill their promises, someone else will probably come along. As for the Myriad, this could be enormous for the whole region. I'd be a lot happier about it if I saw something more than elaborate renderings. Let's see some earth turning!

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I don't see the two markets as being in direct competition. Sure they're in the same state, but the markets are distinct. I'd love to see both markets develop to their potential.

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In my opinion, they both really play to the Southeast market and not much else. Before Katrina, Biloxi and the Beau probably gave the Coast an advantage to something more than just regional appeal; however, it still wasn't on the same level as Las Vegas...With Myriad and Riverbend Crossing and all of the Memphis/Northern MS development, I can see Tunica becoming the next Vegas.

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More Speculation

There is speculation that the delay of the Harrah's project may have something to do with the Choctaw casino in development on the Coast. Given the opposition to that project, I find this reasoning specious. Maybe there is some truth to mayor Holloway's optimism, but I find the delay frustrating and inexplicable.

WLOX Channel 13 News

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So what is going on with JL Scott Aquarium? They were planning a big expansion before Katrina hit. What is USM/the IHL Board planning to do with that?

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Mayor Taken By Surprise

The announcement by Harrah's was certainly a big surprise for everyone, not least of all the mayor of Biloxi. The Choctaw development is so far off the boards that it probably won't see the light of day. As the article mentions, a 21 acre (possibly even larger by now) on the beach front is not a good thing for Biloxi. Harrah's needs to proceed with their promises. I don't see any delays in their other projects in Las Vegas, Atlantic City or even Slovenia.

The Gulf Coast News

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Land Deal Completed

The exchange of the former Harrah's properties in Lake Charles and the former Casino Magic property in Biloxi has now been completed. I still think that Harrah's isn't acting immediately in Biloxi because they want to see what will happen with the proposed Choctaw development. This could mean a very long delay, but it's possible that they are merely trying to pressure Haley Barbour and others to dissuade the Choctaws from building on the Coast.

The Sun Herald

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Harrah's to Announce Plans for Biloxi in May

Harrah's will announce the plan for their 21 acre property on the Biloxi waterfront in May. Finally, this large piece of the Biloxi redevelopment puzzle will be spoken for. I hope the plans are significant. More on this as soon as anything breaks.

The Sun Herald

More...

The Sun Herald

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Harrah's Will Announce Plans on Tuesday

At long last, Harrah's will announce plans for at least part of their 80 acres of property on the Biloxi strip. The article suggests that there may be a connection with Jimmy Buffet in the project, but this may or may not be nothing more than another Margaritaville Cafe inside. At one point, Buffett was to have had his name on a hotel on part of the property. In any event, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for something architecturally significant.

The Sun Herald

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Margartiaville in Biloxi.....

Well, after the Jimmy Buffett connection was leaked yesterday, I'm not surprised to see that the Margaritaville Casino/Hotel idea has been resurrected. The plans include 420 new hotel rooms in addition to the 378 existing rooms in the former Casino Magic hotel tower. One interesting component is 250,000 sq, feet of retail space being developed by the Simon Group. I've yet to see a rendering, but the plans call for an initial investment of over $700m with a commitment towards an eventual $1b. The jury is still out on the design, but I'm glad that something is being built to fill this pivotal hole on Biloxi's waterfront.

Gulf Coast News

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Great news on margartiaville!!!! 250k in shops is a fairly large for a self-contained resort.

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More Details About Margaritaville Unveiled

Harrah's and the Simon Property Group have released a sketch of the view of their project from US 90. The sketch is little more than rudimentary, but would appear to be appropriate for the site. More drawings may be released on the 5th of July. So far, it looks like they are making a good attempt to create a site-specific design for Biloxi which doesn't detract too much from its surroundings.

The Sun Herald

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Margaritaville Clears Architectural Review Board

Having received clearance from the architectural review board, the project must only now receive final clearance from the city council. This should happen in the next couple of weeks. While the overall design may not be stylistically ambitious, I expect that it will not offend. I am left to pnder the question, however, of whether or not it's appropriate to import the style of Key West to Biloxi.

The Sun Herald

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Construction Begins in August

Construction on the new resort complex should begin in August. The rendering in the article shows nothing of the former Casino Magic Tower, but I assume it will still play a role in the new complex. I also dislike the idea of huge parking garages facing US 90, but I am keft to wonder where they will go. Perhaps they can be disguised elsewhere? An areial plan would be useful, but I haven't seen one yet.

The Sun Herald

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Is there any way to clean up the beaches in Biloxi. I think the poor quality beaches really has kept Biloxi from growing. If they could get fix them up to the level of Destin, then Biloxi will one day rival Vegas. Instead it looks like Atlantic City. I'm not sure if this can be done, but the Destin beaches seem to be a whole lot better now than they were when I was a kid. I don't know what they did.

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I always remember that we went to Destin instead of the beaches in Mississippi because there was simply no comparison between the two. I have heard that the beaches on the barrier islands were supposed to be much nicer than those on the Sound, but those have probably been washed away with Katrina. As for improving them, I think they have been working steadily to do so, but I think that one can only go but so far. I'd like to believe otherwise, but unless they do something truly remarkable, the Mississippi beaches may well stay the way they are at present.

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I always remember that we went to Destin instead of the beaches in Mississippi because there was simply no comparison between the two. I have heard that the beaches on the barrier islands were supposed to be much nicer than those on the Sound, but those have probably been washed away with Katrina. As for improving them, I think they have been working steadily to do so, but I think that one can only go but so far. I'd like to believe otherwise, but unless they do something truly remarkable, the Mississippi beaches may well stay the way they are at present.

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the beaches from Biloxi to Waveland are manmade. They were built to help protect the seawall, which was built to help protect highway 90 which skirts the coastline there. I think I read somewhere that there was a small natural beach at Biloxi historically, but nothing special. The problem is that the seaweed doesn't just wash up. The Mississippi Sound, the body of water between the barrier islands and the mainland, is so shallow that algae and stuff flourish in the warm shallow waters...great for the seafood industry, not so great for the tourist industry. The barrier islands tend to trap the out flow of the many fresh water rivers and streams that flow into the sound, too, which also helps to make the water murky. They usually keep the beaches in pretty good shape but I don't know if they've been repaired since Katrina.

The natural beach on the south side of Ship Island is good. The water there is much clearer and deeper. A dude I work with and his wife went to the Ship Island beach about a month ago and thought is was great. I ask him how much damage had been done to the Island from Katrina, but it was his first visit and he had no reference. It's been about five years since I was out there.

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Construction of the Margaritaville Casino Begins

Construction has begun for the Margaritaville Casino complex which will take shape where the Islandview Tower of the Grand Casino once stood. The complex is expected to open in 2010. I have seen more ambitious architecture, but the general feel of the project is probably more appropriate for the Coast than many which have already been built.

The Sun Herald

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