Margaritaville Biloxi Casino’s Scope and Size Shrinking

August 11th, 2008

On July 23rd, The Sun Herald reported that work was slowing down on the Margaritaville Casino project in Biloxi, Mississippi. Now, Harrah’s says that the scope and size of the project is shrinking considerably:

The original $700 million estimated cost of the casino resort on the beach in Biloxi is being revised “down, down,” Harrah’s officials said during a conference call Friday.

About $110 million has been invested in Margaritaville as of June 30, and the company anticipates another $40 million to $45 million will be spent through the remainder of the year.

Harrah’s President Gary Loveman said they slowed construction of Margaritaville casino for a couple of reasons. “First, because business conditions in that market are very trying and new capacity is not exactly what that market needs in the short term.”

Loveland said Harrah’s also intends to refine the scope and the cost estimates for Margaritaville Casino “as carefully as possible to make sure that we build exactly what it is we think is prudent in that market. So we have slowed down the pace to regather ourselves” he said, to ensure Margaritaville “is appropriately sized and configured for the marketplace.”

Read the entire article here

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News, Margaritaville Casinos

Work slowing on Biloxi Margaritaville Casino

July 23rd, 2008

The Sun Herald reports that work is slowing on the construction of the Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi, MS:

The credit crunch has squeezed even the world’s largest casino company and Harrah’s put an end to rumors about the Margaritaville building site in East Biloxi by releasing details.

“Over the next few weeks, residents of Biloxi will notice less activity and fewer workers at the Margaritaville work site,” vice president of communications Marybel Batjer said in an e-mailed statement. “Rest assured that Harrah’s is not canceling the project. We still believe in the Margaritaville concept, and we remain committed to our vision for the property. This is a project that we studied extensively, and we believe that it still has a great potential to benefit the Biloxi market and our company.

“We simply need to adjust the plan for the development to better align with the economic environment, market conditions on the Gulf Coast and the current financing environment.”

Karen Sock, general manager of Harrah’s Grand Biloxi Casino, met with City Council members before their meeting Tuesday and told them she doesn’t know how the construction slowdown will affect the target completion of 2010.

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News

Atlantic City Margaritaville Casino won’t open til next summer

June 5th, 2008

Last week it was announced that Jimmy Buffett has bought the Trump Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Patriot News reports that the casino won’t open as Margaritaville until at least next summer:

The sale of the Marina is expected to take six to nine months and will require approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

That means Parrotheads, the devoted fans of Buffett and the laid-back beach lifestyle made famous by “Margaritaville,” won’t see the new property until at least next summer.

Read the entire article here.

Tagged in Business Empire, Margaritaville Casinos

Trump Casino in Atlantic City to become Margaritaville Casino

May 29th, 2008

Atlantic City’s Trump Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey is being sold to a New York company who, along with Jimmy Buffett, will rename the Casino “Margaritaville.”

“They are buying a wonderful building in a great location,” Trump said in a statement. “It has been an important part of our company with a loyal customer base and a dedicated team.”

Richard T. Fields, chairman of Coastal Marina, said the casino will take on a new identity once the sale closes. No timetable was given.

“Together with Jimmy Buffett’s team at Margaritaville, our plans are to create an exciting new property that we believe will tap its full potential and make it one of the most successful destination gaming resorts in Atlantic City,” Fields said.

Trump Marina was the lowest performing of Trump’s three Atlantic City properties. Located in the city’s marina district, it was dwarfed by market leaders — and marina neighbors — the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and Harrah’s Atlantic City.

The sale marks the conclusion of an on-again, off-again courtship that Trump Entertainment Resorts has been conducting with potential suitors for the past year. At least two prior deals to sell all or part of the company fell through.

Trump Marina covers 14 acres and includes a 27-story hotel with 728 guest rooms, including 153 suites. It has 79,000 square feet of casino floor space and approximately 58,000 square feet of convention, ballroom and meeting space.

It also has an 11-bay bus terminal and a roof-top helipad, as well as a nine story parking garage capable of accommodating approximately 3,000 cars. The property also includes the lease for the Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina.

Read the entire article here.

This is the second Margaritaville Casino to be announced. The first is under construction in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News

Don’t bet on Margaritaville Casino in Florida

January 7th, 2008

There was talk last week that Jimmy might be interested in bringing a casino to Florida. The Miami Herald says don’t bet on it:

A trail of e-mails between Gov. Charlie Crist’s chief of staff and a lobbyist for singer Jimmy Buffett that mentioned ”the gaming issue” stirred a short-lived flutter of speculation last week.

In a Dec. 7 e-mail, lobbyist Jeffrey Sharkey asked George LeMieux for a 15-minute chat “about the gaming issue. I know you are probably tired of it. The governor and Buffett talked about it, and I wanted to get your insights into an idea.”

But the talk never happened, Sharkey said, due to scheduling difficulties. He added that Buffett had no interest in a casino venture in Florida — though the singer agreed last year to develop a Margaritavilla-themed casino in Biloxi, Miss., with Harrah’s.

The talk would have touched on Crist’s contested gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe and other Florida issues that interest Buffett, Sharkey said, including the environment.

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News