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Old 05-16-2007, 08:54 AM
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New casino is Jimmy Buffett’s endorsement of Coast’s rebirth

By MARY PEREZ
SUN HERALD

“Margaritaville Casino Resort Biloxi — I want that T-shirt,” said singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett on Tuesday as he announced the name of the $700 million casino Harrah’s Entertainment will build on Casino Row south of U.S. 90.

Construction begins this summer; the resort will open in 2010. This is the largest investment in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina, and Phases II and III could raise the tab to more than a billion dollars. The resort will feature: A new 420-room hotel plus restoration of 378 rooms at the former Casino Magic Biloxi. 100,000 square feet of casino space. 66,000 square feet of convention space. A Margaritaville restaurant. 250,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and entertainment. Pool and spa. “It’s been a long time since I played Biloxi,” said Buffett as he sang “It’s My Job” and “Margaritaville” at the press conference at Grand Casino Biloxi, which will be separate from the new casino.

Buffett was born in Pascagoula and got his first paying gig in Biloxi. When Buffett learned Harrah’s Vice Chairman Charles Atwood also was a Pascagoula native, “I think I knew then that this was going to happen.”

In a phone conversation last week Buffett said, “I’m obviously thrilled,” and he gave three reasons for bringing the Margaritaville Casino to Biloxi. The first was fun. His local roots were also a part of the decision, and then he wanted to give the Coast an economic boost to get back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina.

Harrah’s Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman said his company continues to help revitalize the Coast. Harrah’s opened one of the first clinics in Gulfport after the hurricane and paid $8.1 million in grants, loans and relocation assistance to its employees. The company also paid $113 million in state taxes and nearly $140 million in wages in Mississippi in 2006.

Now the focus can switch to moving forward and building a tier 1 destination resort. Loveman said the sale of Harrah’s to a private-equity firm won’t affect the plans for the Margaritaville Casino.

Gov. Haley Barbour can’t wait to hear more about the additional plans for the new casino and said, “It won’t be all about gaming,” but will be a multifaceted destination.

“I plan to be pretty active in this,” said Buffett, who said he will rely on childhood memories such as boat rides to Ship Island as he designs what the Biloxi Margaritaville will look and feel like.

“I think I have a unique insight,” he said. “I go way back.”

Margaritaville is a feeling and a way of life, said John Payne, Harrah’s central division president. It’s never been made into a casino before.

Atwood said as Harrah’s sets out to create a world-class resort, “We brought together some of the best people in the world to help us.”

At least 50 to 60 shops, plus restaurants, will give those visiting Margaritaville Casino “an experience when they go shopping,” said David Simon, CEO of Simon Property Group. The company has developed shopping complexes across the country, including The Forum at the Harrah’s Caesars resort in Las Vegas.

Bobby Moak, chairman of the Gaming Committee of the Mississippi House of Representatives, said this kind of investment is a signal to the rest of the market. “They see some things that are going to happen on the Coast.”

“I think Jimmy Buffett knows the Biloxi of the past,” said Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, “and he obviously sees the immense promise in the Biloxi of the future.”

Holloway added that more casino announcements will be coming in short order for Biloxi.

http://www.sunherald.com/278/story/54626.html
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:04 AM
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I love this idea. I just hope the final product is as good as everyone is making it sound.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:51 AM
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I'm so excited about this. I know it's just going to be another casino but you know Jimmy Buffet will have to do the opening show for it and I can't wait! I love Jimmy Buffet!
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:28 PM
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Craig, Priest of the Temples of Syrinx is allowed to buy Marc a drink and leave right after
*waiting for Marc to make his Jimmy Buffett comment*

Not just another casino. I imagine it will be on par with the Beau.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:42 PM
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i was holding it back

I'd rather take a spoon and remove my eyes, place them in my ears then to listen to Jimmy Buffett.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:59 PM
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The Good Reverend, MATCHEW is allowed to buy Marc a drink and leave right after
that's a shame.
Believe it or not,he has some great lyrics.
he's a poet. (not counting all the goofy songs about cheesburgers and shit)

Last edited by The Good Reverend, MATCHEW; 05-16-2007 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:09 PM
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R0XY is allowed to buy Marc a drink and leave right afterR0XY is allowed to buy Marc a drink and leave right after
I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year.
All of the faces and all of the places,
wonderin' where they all disappeared.
I didn't ponder the question too long;
I was hungrey and went out for a bite.
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum,
and we wound up drinkin' all night.

It's those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:17 PM
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Craig, Priest of the Temples of Syrinx is allowed to buy Marc a drink and leave right after
eh. Not a favorite. JB had MANY better songs. Like this one:


Disembarking at Duvalier Airport
Seeking transportation to town
As the purple ink dried on his passport
He could still feel the eyes look around

"Messieur ou y est casino?"
Spoke to the cabbie and smiled
Driver replied "Vieux ou noveaux."
As he motioned the dark man inside

Business in Aruba concluded
He now had a little money to spend
That's how I came to meet my African friend

We were rolling the bones several hours
Conversing as most gamblers do
We were calling on all of our powers
Hopin' to see the night through

But not approving at all of our winnings
Pit boss he tugged at his sleeve
Through the whole thing my new friend was grinning
When he motioned it's time we should leave

With our night at the tables behind us
We were ready just to do it again
That's when I came to know my African friend

But I woke up on the steps of a whorehouse
Soldier told me I'd better leave
As I stumbled to find me a taxi
I saw a note pinned to my sleeve

"It was a pleasure and a hell of an evenin'
Truly was our night to win.
But the authorities insist on my leaving
Take care my American friend."

With my weekend at Haiti concluded
I now had a little money to spend
That's when I came to meet my African friend
That's how I came to know another good friend
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:19 PM
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its his fans that pissed me off. fuckin' parrothead night...
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:21 PM
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They probably just wanted to get drunk and screw...
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