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
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.