The land-based real money casino industry in Biloxi, Mississippi goes back 25 years. One of the top players in that market for the past 20 years has been Beau Rivage Casino Biloxi. According to a recent report by Mary Perez for the Sun Herald’s website, it is time for Biloxi to party like it is 1999.
The transformation of South Mississippi’s shoreline started with shrimp docks and empty seafood factories. It was transformed into the economic centerpiece of the region and reinvented in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Furthermore,tthe initial concerns with the Beau Rivage properties focuses on the estimated $750 million price tag to build the resort and casino.
Most importantly, this is the largest investment of its kind in the state. Moreover, the plans call for 1,740 hotel rooms and suites. Also, they call for a dozen restaurants creating thousands of jobs. The economic impact on South Mississippi alone expects to create a reversal of fortunes in the depressed Gulf Coast region.
The casino created the expected traffic jams. This actually turned into a financial boon for support businesses in the region. It significantly drained the local workforce with more than 4,000 new jobs ahead of the grand opening in 1999. What Beau Rivage Casino Biloxi did not do is put the existing area casinos out of business. It had the opposite effect according to those early reports in the Sun Herald. More and more visitors were attracted to the region to see the latest Gulf Coast casino gambling venue.
Biloxi casino gaming reports posted total revenue at $814 million in 1998. In just one year, total revenue topped $1 billion to reflect a 27 percent gain. The entire casino market continued its upward climb until Katrina struck the region in 2005.
Quicky, Flash forward to 2019. As a result, business is still bustling at Beau Ridge. Paul Heard is the casino’s chief financial officer. First of all, he makes a statement.
“Yes, This past year is the first year the property ever broke the $100 million EBITDA threshold.”
Indeed, he has been in that position for more than 20 years after taking the job as the property was first being built. Furthermore, he attributes the recent revenue increase in part to the new sportsbook that opens on Aug. 1. Beau Rivage Casino Biloxi and The Gold Strike in the Tunica casino region. Ultimately, these are the first two properties with legal sports betting in the state. Also, heard adds.
“At some point (traveling south on Interstate 110) you hit a spot and the Beau is all you can see. Everybody says this place would fit on the Vegas Strip.”
Indeed, the business climate has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years. Interestingly, Mississippi is one of the few states outside of Nevada and New Jersey with land-based casino resorts. Beau Ridge’s CFO admitted that other than in Las Vegas, a casino on this grand of a scale would not be built.
Interestingly, Beau Ridge is the brainchild of Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn. Furthermore, the property’s first celebrity spokesperson is Elizabeth Taylor and her classic Southern drawl. Moreover, The casino opens with 2000 slot machines and 80 table games. Hence, Wynn sells the property a year later. Now, folks know the property as MGM Resorts International.
• Source: Biloxi set to party like it’s 1999 for Beau Rivage’s 20th birthday From SunHerald.com On March 11, 2019.