Gaming Summit a Success
by Keith Burton GCN 5/10/07
With sold out vender space at the Coast Coliseum, the 2007 Gaming Summit's return to Biloxi marks a successful milestone toward the Coast's Hurricane Katrina recovery. The return of the event to Biloxi this Wednesday and Thursday was well attended and reflects progress in some areas of the Coast's economy that many thought nearly impossible just 20 months after the worst natural disaster in America's history. Chief among the successes are the area's casinos, which reinvested in the Coast and quickly repaired damages from the hurricane. Last year's summit was held in Tunica County, the state's other major casino destination area.
The world is well aware of the continuing struggle to build back the Coast that was hit by hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. Most people rightly expected that the area's casino industry to be the engine that will move the economy forward and that is surely the case. Millions are being invested into this area, particularly in Biloxi.
Promoting the Coast in still what is clearly the early days of the recovery is the responsibility of the Harrison County Tourism Commission. The agency's director Steve Richer, says they have a new ad agency on hand, only selected a few weeks ago, which is ready to carry the message of the Coast around the country.
The message is a simple one, "it's great here and you can have a great time, but we are still rebuilding, and you can help."
A series of ads reflecting that theme is part of the advertising that will be going into magazines and newspaper and radio ads. The commission is also expanding its advertising presence on the Internet through websites that talk about the Coast or have an interest in featuring this area.
"Mississippi has successfully set itself up for private investments...and we have benefited from all the people that have come through here and who have developed an emotional tie to the area. Secondly, we have put together a series of material about what his happening on the Gulf Coast and we plan to take it to New York and the national media," Richer said.