IP's New Showroom a Hit
Photos and Story by Keith Burton - GCN 1/10/09
It doesn't hurt to launch a new showroom at a Coast casino with a superstar performer and that is exactly what happened Saturday night at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi.
The IP's new showroom premiered with country music star Toby Keith who electrified the sold out crowd of more than 1,400 guests. The show began with a video movie vignette with Keith both acting and having some fun displayed on two huge screens in the showroom, the IP calls "Studio A." Then Keith and his band stepped up on the stage playing his most popular hits.
Saturday night's concert was the first major show at the new IP showroom. The IP spent more than $9 million dollars on the new venue. The showroom is packed with the latest sound and lighting technology and is soundproofed from the regular sounds of the casino, which are just beyond custom noise reduction entry doors that cost more than $12,000 a piece.
The showroom has two levels, the lower level is for regular ticket holders and is decorated with red satin-covered seats. A balcony above puts the VIP guests up close and they get comfy high-back leather covered seats.
IP contractors that worked to construct the new showroom said they had many challenges building the new venue. First, the entire room is on the casino barge, which means some creative engineering had to occur to get the room right, and level. It turns out that steel barges have unique characteristics, one being nothing is quite level, but you would never know that from the way the showroom feels and looks. The room is also wider than many concert halls. This translates into good viewing positions from all the seat, but it proved a challenge for sound engineers, which they seemed to have mastered.
The IP casino is partially constructed on a huge barge that is the only one that survived hurricane Katrina. Since the hurricane in August 2005, Mississippi's casinos were allowed to build on land. The IP will eventually do the same. Prior to the hurricane, state law required the casinos to be built on the water at the shoreline.
IP officials should be praised for their focus to build and open the new showroom in a time when the country's economy is in a downturn. The company sees a bright present and future for the casino. Indeed, the property was packed with guests and didn't seem to miss the plus-1,400 that were at the show. The following is a few additional photos of the event.
The IP has a continuous high-power lineup of performers including more top stars and headline comedians lined up for their new showroom. To see a schedule, Click Here.