Grand Casino Biloxi has grown in spurts since its opening in January 1994, a growth reflected in one of the largest gambling barges among the Coast's 13 casinos in business at the time of Hurricane Katrina. |
The hurricane swept the Grand, now part of Harrah's Entertainment, across U.S. 90. The Grand barges that landed north of Beach Boulevard have been cut into scrap. The hotel on the south side of the road was imploded on May 21. In a spectacular display of explosive expertise, the 12-story Grand Casino Island View Hotel went down like dominoes.
"The $1 billion construction that is planned for the site by its new owner, Harrah's, shows faith that Biloxi is a great casino resort," Mayor A.J. Holloway said at the time.
The Grand plans to reopen on Casino Row in midsummer, with gambling taking place in a land hotel because the Legislature, post-Katrina, approved land-based casinos near water.
It is projected to take at least a couple of years to re-create a full resort casino on the Grand site.
- KAT BERGERON