Just in time for summer vacation. Via SunHerald.com (full story):
BILOXI -- Momentum is building toward Tuesday’s opening of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant on the Back Bay.
A VIP party begins at 5 p.m. and the casino opens to the public Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Inside, the restaurant opens to the casino floor, gift shop, Feeding Frenzy Buffet, 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar and an event venue.
After Hurricane Katrina, IP Casino was the first to reopen. It was followed quickly by Boomtown Biloxi. That moved the market to the Back Bay, King said. With Margaritaville’s opening, the nearby Palace Casino’s recent $50 million expansion and Golden Nugget buying the Isle and investing $150 million, the hot spot in town could become East Biloxi, he said.
Buffett said he joined with Harrah’s Entertainment on a $700 million casino on the Biloxi beach when then-Gov. Haley Barbour asked him to help the city after Hurricane Katrina
The natural disaster was followed by a man-made disaster when the national recession hit and Harrah’s stopped construction.
“It didn’t shake us,” said Buffett. Although that casino never was built, he said there were still people interested in seeing Margaritaville in Biloxi, including Barbour. The project was scaled back and moved to the Back Bay, where Buffett said it has a sense of place.