BILOXI, Miss.–Images of palm trees, a gentle island breeze and the sounds of steel drums will soon disappear from the Mississippi coast as the tropic-themed Margaritaville Biloxi sets its sights on closure “on or before Sept 19”. That announcement was made Monday to employees, and then the media.
The casino, which opened in May 2012, said in a news release that it could not reach a deal to build a hotel and that a dispute with its landlord means that it’s going to close and that everyone there will be out of a job.
Employees will be paid through Sept. 19, unless they find other work.
“Our hearts certainly go out to Margaritaville employees and their families,” said Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols, “and we’re hopeful that the state’s rapid response dislocated worker unit will be able to help these workers find new employment.
“Developments like this are not uncommon in the Mississippi gaming industry. We operate in a free-market system, and a number of factors come into play, including location, amenities, marketing, management and so forth. In the 20-plus years since gaming opened in Biloxi, we’ve seen a number of casinos come and go – Lady Luck, Gold Coast, Casino Magic, the President and the Biloxi Belle, to name a few – but the Biloxi casino market remains strong.”
The casino said it had notified the Miss. Dept. of Employment Security of the closing, so that help will come for employees who need jobs and unemployment.