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Biloxi's Boomtown Casino Opens to a full House
Treasure Bay's Temporary Casino Busy
Story and photos by Keith Burton - GCN
Filed 6/29/06

Ten months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Coast, Biloxi's Boomtown Casino becomes the fifth casino to reopen its doors. The parking lot outside the Back Bay casino was full Thursday morning after the casino reopened.

Unlike some of the other Coast casinos, Boomtown suffered extensive damages to its property but not catastrophic damages. The company had to send its casino barge to a Pascagoula shipyard for repairs earlier this year. There is still work going on all around the property as the casino has plans for growth in the near future.

Work crews were also busy Thursday replacing the damage signs across from the Imperial Palace that point the way to Boomtown off of Caillevet Street.

Boomtown joins the IP, Isle of Capri, Palace and Treasure Bay that have reopened since the hurricane in Biloxi.

Meanwhile, Treasure Bay is doing a brisk business in a very small temporary casino inside the property's Highway 90 hotel. Treasure Bay opened a small casino lounge in their hotel earlier in June. The pirate barge and waterfront restaurant complex has been completely removed from Treasure Bay's beach-side property and all that remains there is part of the casino's main sign. All of the company's activity is now on the north side of Highway 90 in their hotel, which is undergoing an extensive renovation in preparation for a September opening.

Access to Treasure Bay's casino is through a long temporary blue-covered corridor from the hotel's parking lot.

Besides the slot machines on hand, there is also a small restaurant. Conditions are not what you normally expect from a casino, but just getting open following Katrina is a remarkable achievement. Patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves and west Biloxi residents are already happy to have one of their favorite casinos open.

Work has also finally gotten underway on Biloxi's Hard Rock Casino. The Hard Rock is scheduled to open for the first time in July 2007. The Hard Rock casino was scheduled to open just three days after Katrina hit the Mississippi Coast. Repairs after the storm were delayed over legal issues.

While much of the beachfront properties along Highway 90 remain cleared from the debris left from Katrina's destruction, few properties are seeing any reconstruction. However, a number of the beachfront road's smaller motels have been able to reopen, which are adding badly needed motel rooms to the Coast. There are no gas stations, fast food restaurants or stores open on U.S. 90 from Biloxi to Pass Christian.

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