๐Ÿ’ Casinos Emerge as Winners In Wake of Hurricane Katrina - WSJ

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Six months after Katrina, work to demolish the Treasure Bay's Casino barge is underway. Treasure Bay Casino Main Building, Gaping hole in the Grand's Bargeโ€‹.


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Biloxi Casinos Before Katrina

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Before Katrina hit, Biloxi last year had collected $20 million in tax revenue Casino Magic property right across from Harrah's Grand Biloxi.


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The remains of a Casino after Hurricane Katrina

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Six months after Katrina, work to demolish the Treasure Bay's Casino barge is underway. Treasure Bay Casino Main Building, Gaping hole in the Grand's Bargeโ€‹.


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Implosion of Grand Casino Biloxi MS

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Isle of Capri Casino post-Katrina [Click on image for larger version]. The Grand Casino Biloxi pre-Katrina [Click on image for larger version].


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Six months after Katrina, work to demolish the Treasure Bay's Casino barge is underway. Treasure Bay Casino Main Building, Gaping hole in the Grand's Bargeโ€‹.


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Before Katrina hit, Biloxi last year had collected $20 million in tax revenue Casino Magic property right across from Harrah's Grand Biloxi.


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Casinos tally damage in Gulf Coast region. Harrah's New Orleans and the Grand Casino Gulfport for up to 90 days. All three properties closed Sunday before.


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The Gulf Coast faced its share of challenges in the past 10 years. As in other destination gaming markets, the Gulf Coast needs more nongaming attractions to drive business. Fortunately, it was fully insured. But the recession pushed the region into annual declines in six of the past seven years, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Some of the machines โ€” with blackjack tables, slot tokens, gaming chips and other gambling equipment โ€” ended up at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Others chose to ignore social distancing rules, despite reminders placed throughout properties. A shrimp boat rests in a harbor in Ocean Springs, Miss. June 4, - am June 4, - pm.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} We need attractions that complement gaming to drive the right type of tourism to the market. Louis when Katrina arrived, never saw water again. Yet neither Ferrucci nor other Gulf Coast casino operators ever considered folding their hand. From the first cheers on Fremont Street at a. Thursday to the quiet hum of traffic at midnight Friday, Review-Journal photographers captured the reawakening of Las Vegas. New restaurants have arrived, and MGM Resorts International โ€” which owns the market-leading Beau Rivage โ€” essentially gave Biloxi land across the street for a new minor-league baseball stadium. The opportunity is there to grow the tourism market. The recession ended the project a year later. He recalls when he was told to evacuate in August because of Hurricane Katrina. Shrimp boats rest in a harbor in Ocean Springs, Miss. June 5, - am June 5, - pm. June 5, - am June 5, - am. Las Vegas casinos are ushering in guests eager to try their luck today, 78 days after resorts were closed because of the COVID pandemic. The recession that gripped the gaming industry on a national scale, however, slowed the Gulf Coast recovery. The human toll included the loss of 17, casino and hospitality jobs. Casino operators also would like to see the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport which has only domestic routes despite the name add more direct flights from southern feeder markets. Boats rest on the beach Aug. Modern bridges were built to reconnect the region to the mainland east and west of the casino cities. The site is being converted into a water park and resort with restaurants and a room, nongaming hotel. Unsubscribe at any time. The Gulf Coast was in shambles for years. Follow howardstutz on Twitter. Travelers on flight to Las Vegas offer thoughts on casinos reopening. Louis and Biloxi. All were destroyed by the Category 5 hurricane, which packed wind gusts exceeding mph and pushed a foot storm surge well inland on Aug. It took a few days for the national media, which focused attention on the flooding in New Orleans, to realize the Gulf Coast had also suffered extensive damage. Construction of a new hotel and waterpark is underway Aug. Hotel guests float in a water ride at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Boats are seen at a dock Aug. Haley Barbour approved changes in state gaming laws, allowing casinos to move off the water as long as they were within feet of the shore. The Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Miss. The property reopened in August The President, the barge that was scheduled to move 35 miles west from Biloxi to Bay St. Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Strip hotels are offering free parking, waived resort fees and discounted room rates to bring tourists back to Nevada. Louis, near the site where he had planned to moor the President. Other casino barges were destroyed or heavily damaged at their docks. A few days after the storm subsided, Ferrucci returned to the marina to find the President gone. Crucial infrastructure has been repaired. The Imperial Palace was the first to reopen in early November Isle of Capri Biloxi and the Palace followed in December. Birds sit on a damaged pier Aug. Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz reviewjournal. The October change was intended as an incentive to rebuild, and the industry did just that. By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. June 4, - pm June 4, - pm. Las Vegas casinos welcoming guests after long shutdown. Highway 90 between Bay St. Like us on Facebook. While other aspects of their business may boom, few think the market can support more than the combined , square-feet of casino space. June 5, - pm June 5, - pm. Others changed owners. The Golden Nugget in Biloxi, Miss. June 4, - am June 4, - am. Don't miss the big stories. Louis, Miss. More than 19, slot machines were rendered useless and had to be destroyed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in and Hurricanes Gustav, in , and Isaac, in , drew headlines but did little to disrupt business to the casinos. An insurance payout from Hurricane Katrina built the land-based property. Two U. He is still general manager of the property, which was bought by Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts in A room hotel opened there earlier this year. Some lost their lives. Fresh marketing campaigns aim to get customers back in casinos. Other businesses have also returned to the Biloxi and Gulfport commercial areas, and Gulf Coast tourism in general has been re-energized. The President was one of 13 casinos in a mile stretch of picturesque U. Gulf Coast casino operators hope Katrina was a once-in-century storm, and they remain confident that no hurricane could ever kill their market. Some casinos were shifted to new locations, and some downsized. Almost all upgraded their gaming floors, hotel rooms and other attractions as they rebuilt. Nevada-based gaming companies had invested billions of dollars in creating a destination that drew gamblers from the Deep South and neighboring states, only to see it wiped away by an unstoppable force of nature. Many of those gaming employees lost their homes. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Two days later, he was told to evacuate the area: Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Be informed. By Richard N. Despite the availability of face coverings, Review-Journal staff and experts who toured casinos on Thursday and Friday said only about half of visitors were seen wearing masks. The massive storm had driven the barge three-quarters of a mile down the beach, where it came to rest on the north side of U. Gaming industry leaders cite several ways the Gulf Coast could boost both visitation and customer spending and compete with emerging markets. The airport, which gets less passenger traffic in a year than McCarran International Airport sees in a week, has recently upgraded gates and parking facilities, however. But there is debate about whether it helps or hurts the Las Vegas brand. Billboards, TV ads and special promotions are being rolled out by several casino companies to get customers in the buildings when the day casino closure ends Thursday. Before Katrina, gaming had to be conducted on boats, barges or buildings on piers. Yet there is a dark cloud around the silver lining: Where Gulf Coast casinos once employed 17, people, the 11 survivors had just 9, workers as of June 30, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. As Las Vegas launches comeback, an old debate resumes: Can room rates go too low? The Gulf Coast in the past 10 years has faced the challenges of hurricanes, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Great Recession. The American Gaming Association and travel organizations have seen an uptick in travel and bookings to Las Vegas as states begin to relax pandemic-related restrictions. A boat rests on the beach Aug. June 4, - pm June 5, - pm. But Katrina was more than a wrecking ball. Southern Nevada locals casinos see traffic, but large crowds absent. Seawater and debris inundated hotel rooms, convention areas and restaurants. Masks are given out at casinos now.