Back rent totaling $375,000 is owed to the City of Gulfport by Rotate Black, the company which had plans and site approval for Hemingway Resort and Casino downtown on the west side of the Gulfport harbor.
Whether or not Rotate Black has plans to submit a revamped proposal to the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission (GRC) for a new lease is unknown, but according to GRC president Carol Lynne Meadows, before that happens the company would have to pay what it owes first.
Rotate Black missed an April 1, 2014 deadline to show that it was prepared to move forward with financial backing, but was working towards restructuring and meeting guidelines set by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. However, since then, the company has failed to pay overdue rent and subsequently its lease was terminated by the GRC in October 2014. The GRC is now asking for new proposals for its 3-acre portion previously slated for the casino site.
The project originally approved by the Gaming Commission for $112 million increased to a $170 million investment for construction of the name-brand casino on city parcels which when combined with private parcels in the harbor would give the resort a total of 7 acres.
Meadows said that the GRC has publicly advertised for new development proposals for the 3-acre site near Jones Park, and that the proposals due on Monday don’t necessarily have to be for a casino, she said, “I would like to have a casino — the right kind of casino — and if they can’t do that, the city needs to do something with this property,” according to a Sun Herald report.
Since the Hurricane Katrina devastation more than $40 million, the majority from federal-relief funding, has been sunk into harbor improvements, but the yacht basin’s west side where the casino site was to be built still sits vacant.
Current liabilities of $20.3 million and assets of $3,470 as of June, is what the latest available SEC filing shows for Rotate Black.