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Margaritaville casino project in Biloxi announced

Harrah's and Jimmy Buffett announced yesterday that the plans for the new Margaritaville casino in Biloxi have been approved.

Margaritaville casino project in Biloxi announcedThe famous singer Jimmy Buffett has teamed up with Harrah's Entertainment to build the biggest gambling project in post-Katrina Mississippi, according to the state's Gaming Board. The initial cost for building the casino is set at $704 million but it could easily reach $1 billion with second phase construction. Margaritaville Casino and Resort will occupy the former sites of Grand Casino and Casino Magic and it's planned to open at 2010.

The project includes about 100,000 square feet of casino floor, 250,000 square feet of retail space, about 66,000 square feet of meeting space, a pool deck with tropical landscaping, a spa, 420 new hotel rooms and 378 renovated hotel rooms that are part of Grand Casino.

Simon Property Group, which is the largest real estate company in North America, would lend its expertise to retail real estate operations. The project would also include a huge shopping area, restaurants and other entertainment venues, which would make the casino resort attractive not only to gamblers but to regular tourists, as well.

Buffett and his company must be found suitable to hold a gaming license, and a standard investigation by the Mississippi Gaming Commission is undergoing.

Harrah's plans to continue operating Grand Casino in Biloxi during construction.


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