by Keith Burton - GCN Filed 9/9/06
It is becoming more clear that Donald Trump is getting serious about building a casino resort in the Hancock County community of Diamondhead.
Friday, Trump Entertainment Resorts announced that it has extended to October 23, 2006, the terms of a letter of intent signed on June 8, 2006, to form a joint venture partnership to develop, build and operate a destination casino resort in Diamondhead. In a press release, the parties involved in the process said they are pleased with the progress, accomplishments, and results obtained thus far and are currently preparing a master plan and preliminary project design concepts. Work is also underway conducting waterline surveys and engineering surveys, which are among the reasons the company asked for additional time.
The joint venture would cover a minimum of forty acres within a 404-acre tract of land owned by Mississippi Gaming Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diamondhead. The Diamondhead tract fronts Interstate 10 for approximately two miles and the Bay of St. Louis for approximately two miles in Hancock County. The property is zoned as a Special Use District-Waterfront Gaming District by Hancock County.
On October 17, 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour signed a bill into law that permits casinos to be built on land up to 800-feet from the mean high water line of certain bodies of water. The new law applies to the Diamondhead property.
According to the news release, the Diamondhead Casino Corporation ("DHCC"), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mississippi Gaming Corporation, owns and intends to develop, in cooperation with a joint venture partner, approximately 404 acres of land in Diamondhead, Mississippi. DHCC intends to develop the property as a destination casino resort and hotel with condominiums and other amenities.
Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. ("TER") is a leading gaming company that owns and operates three properties. TER's properties include Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, located on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Trump Marina Hotel Casino, located in Atlantic City's Marina District. Together, the properties comprise approximately 371,300 square feet of gaming space and 3,180 hotel rooms and suites. TER is the sole vehicle through which Donald J. Trump, TER's Chairman and largest stockholder, conducts gaming activities and strives to provide customers with outstanding casino resort and entertainment experiences consistent with the Donald J. Trump standard of excellence. Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. is separate and distinct from Mr. Trump's real estate and other holdings