Officials from the Island View Casino Resort were on hand Wednesday, May 24 to break ground on a new addition that will expand the casino’s floor space to 123,000 square feet, making it the largest on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, reports local news station WLOX.
Rick Carter, the co-owner of the casino reportedly said that the expansion will allow guests to enjoy more amenities, in addition to growing the workforce in South Mississippi. Cater said, “Terry [co-owner] and I have been working in the casino industry to make this level. Next year will be 30 years we’ve been in, so this is really the pinnacle of what we could ever dream of,” according to the news agency.
Carter said that with the expansion, he and Green will have invested $400 million in Gulfport and in Island View since they made the trip to Las Vegas post-Katrina and purchased the Grand Gulfport from Harrah’s, as reported by the SunHerald. Damaged in the storm, the Beach Tower was restored at a cost of $58 million and opened in 2015. The new casino, along with its amenities, will surpass that at $75 million. The investment in the hotel tower renovation was something the Island View committed to back in 2013.
The new, larger casino will come in at 43,000 square feet and be located in Gulfport on the south side of U.S. Highway 90. The casino will be smoke-free and feature a unique design and include amenities such as new restaurants, a central elevated center bar, a daiquiri bar, and a central corridor. Casino officials reportedly said that there will also be a substantial selection of state-of-the-art casino games.
Island View Casino Resort Vice President and General Counsel, Cathy Beeding, said, “The most exciting aspects for me are the floor to ceiling glass walls; that will allow this interface between the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Sound and the casino,” according to the news agency.
Also commenting on the new casino, Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes reportedly told south Mississippi media outlets, “Rick Carter has invested more than anybody else as far as coming back and doing it time and again. Making the most of that opportunity, but also taking a chance on where he lives which is great.”
The new build would reportedly add approximately 250 jobs.
The new edition, which is the casino resort’s fourth phase since it opened in 2006, is expected to open in the summer of 2018.
In July last year, the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) amended its lease agreement with the casino operators of the Island View enabling them to secure funding to build the new casino.