For immediate release
GULFPORT, SEPT. 19 Hundreds of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents, dignitaries and more than 1,000 newly employed casino workers celebrated the grand opening of Island View Casino Resort on Monday, Sept. 18.
Gulf Coast natives Rick Carter and Terry Green - founders of Gulfport’s Copa Casino which was destroyed last year by Hurricane Katrina - privately own the land-based resort, which will be Gulfport’s only casino property.
Carter and Green purchased the 40-acre Grand Casino resort from Harrah’s Entertainment in March. Six months later, the business partners have opened on that site what will become the area’s largest casino upon full build out this spring - as well as one of the area’s largest private employers.
Rick Carter said, “As a community, the Gulf Coast has marked a year of not only surviving, but overcoming extreme challenges through strength and determination to rebuild. Opening Island View as part of Gulfport’s reemergence is truly an honor for us.”
Carter continued, “Terry and I are committed to making Island View a success that will be shared by our employees, state and local officials and the residents of Gulfport.”
Island View Casino Resort’s opening unveiled the first phase of the project, which includes 30,000 square feet of gaming with 1,033 ticket-in/ticket-out slots and 14 table games. The initial phase also offers 562 hotel rooms and suites and a 350-seat buffet.
The second phase, which is already underway and expected to be completed in early ’07, will feature a total of 80,000 square feet of gaming with approximately 2,400 slots and 50 table games for the 520,000-square-foot property. A 24-hour steak-house-style restaurant, coffee shop and fine-dining restaurant will also be added as well as a sand-beach swimming pool and covered parking. Approximately 1,500 jobs are expected to be created by the end of the second phase.
Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr, who spoke at the opening celebration, said, “The Island View Casino Resort is a first-class gaming facility. We are proud to have such a quality gaming project here in Gulfport, and we look forward to the financial boost and the additional jobs the return and expansion of gaming will bring as we continue to rebuild.”
Editor’s Note: For a site preview, interviews, photo ops or B-roll, please contact Lori Eckert at 850-855-0055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.