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Margaritaville Biloxi, reborn, differently

Last edit: erzeszut on Wednesday, 12th January 2011 5:39 pm
Last response by dmam2011 31st July 7:57am

According to the Biloxi Sun-Herald, plans were approved today for a Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (no hotel) on the Back Bay.

Appears that Jimmy Buffett has moved on from his partnership with Caesars Entertainment in Biloxi. This restaurant/casino is in partnership with other investors, according to this article.

I have to imagine that the arrangement with CET, to build a Margaritaville Resort/Casino on the site of the old Casino Magic, crossing the street to connect to the current Grand Casino Biloxi, has been formally terminated. Can't imagine that Buffett would build TWO Margaritavilles in Biloxi. This appears to be a smaller project, without a hotel component.

Buffett recently opened the first "Margaritaville Hotel" in the Florida panhandle, renovating/renaming an existing property.

Wonder what Caesars does with the remainder of the Grand Biloxi and the Casino Magic property now. Pre-Hurricane Katrina, CET (then Harrah's) had planned to rename the property as a Horseshoe casino and retire the Grand Casino name (the Biloxi property is the only one left). Guess those plans could be reincarnated.

Any Biloxi locals able to drive by the construction site, see if Margaritaville signs have been removed? I just peeked at the Grand Biloxi website; I believe there used to be a link on the left hand side for "Margaritaville," which has now been removed.

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 vespajet responded on Wednesday, 12th January 2011

I would not be surprised if this becomes the location for the first Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino outside of Las Vegas. When Harrah's bought Planet Hollywood, they got the licensing rights to brand other casinos internationally as Planet Hollywood. The area already has a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, so why not a Planet Hollywood? A Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino Biloxi would better fit the "destination resort" concept that Margaritaville was supposed to be. I don't think the Horseshoe name would work in that manner.

 erzeszut replied on Wednesday, 12th January 2011

Interesting thought. Personally, I don't see Planet Hollywood as much of a fit in Biloxi. Not a real "Hollywood" type town.

Hard Rock works because Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis, the state where blues and country music fused into rock and roll.

Margaritaville works because it's a beach town.

You may be right, CET might use the Planet Hollywood name since they own it and it's pretty widely recognized, more so than "Horseshoe," certainly. But I don't think it fits the Gulf Coast beach resort concept the way Margaritaville did.

They've got a great location and a lot of land to play with. If money weren't an object, they could build a huge, opulent "Caesars Palace Biloxi."

 erzeszut responded on Thursday, 13th January 2011

Official statement from Caesars, officially announcing the termination of their partnership with Margaritaville in Biloxi:

“We are disappointed that our project with Margaritaville will not proceed,” John Payne, Caesars Entertainment central division president, said Wednesday. “We will continue to explore opportunities that will allow us to enhance our resort. We remain committed to the Gulf Coast.”

A non-statement, and it's likely that Caesars' eyesore on the beach will remain in a half-built, concrete- and rebar- exposed state, for years to come. This is the equivalent of the mothballed Echelon Place in Vegas.

 dmam2011 responded on Sunday, 31st July 2011

Disagree. Yes, Elvis was born in MS about 6 hours north while growing up (and ultimately linked to Tennessee/Memphis). I'm not sure I've ever heard a tourist reference Elvis on the coast? Anyway ...Hard Rock works because of the universal interest in music and proximity to New Orleans. The Horsheshoe or a flagship of Harrah's would be my thought. Considering how the massive development has become rust needing to be razed... I expect a sale.