There's talk of a new gambling project out of Mississippi, but (would you believe it?) it has nothing to do with riverboat casinos. Dakia Entertainment Hospitality and Broadwater Development, LLP, sent a letter to the Biloxi City Council, declaring their formal intent to launch a $1.2 billion project that, on completion, would be a shoo-in for putting the coastal town back on the map. City officials endorsed the endeavor—or, at least, this embryonic stage of it.
The project would be a sprawling, 266-acre "entertainment complex." That means a hotel with over 1,000 rooms, an 18-hole golf course, a concert hall with an occupancy capacity of over 10,000, and a casino. That's not to mention a retail component. According to the news site, WLOX, developers are talking about a whopping "18,000 square feet" of shopping space.
The region of Biloxi in South Mississippi is known as the Broadwater. One reason for the city council's speedy approval of the proposal could be related to a desire by city residents to return to the Broadwater's heyday. One city councilperson referred to Biloxi as the "gem of the Gulf Coast."
New Orleans residents will have to forgive Mississippians their provincial enthusiasms. It's understandable that Biloxi Chamber-of-Commerce types would be eager to hype up their port town's significance, even if it does pale in comparison to NOLA's world renown. Besides, with just 90 miles of coastline separating New Orleans from Biloxi, there will be nothing stopping New Orleanians from crossing state lines and experiencing the new site for themselves, once it's completed.
The development also promises to pump capital and jobs into the local economy of Biloxi. One projection has it that the construction would produce 1,000 temporary jobs alone. Eventually, the entertainment complex could employ as many as 2,500 workers full-time and generate $100 million per annum in retail spending.