Casinos Spend Millions To Expand Their Resorts

The spectacular view of the Mississippi Sound from 26 floors above the water looked a lot more breathtaking than the 26th floor did. Construction dust and construction equipment littered Beau Rivage's hotel corridor. That's why it was temporarily off limits to guests.

Yates Construction has been converting 69 rooms on the 26th floor into 31 high end suites.

"There is a big demand in our player population for suites," Beau Rivage spokesman Bruce Nourse said. "We want to take care of that population."

The downtown Biloxi resort is spending $13 million on the suite project. It will pay another $2 million to renovate the remaining 1,700 rooms. Nourse believes the company's ultimate goal should always be improving its resort. "If you're not, shame on you," he said. "We feel that we always have to maintain the quality of the product. Our customers expect it."

Down at Biloxi's Point Cadet, the casino improvements will be much easier to see. The Isle of Capri is just days away from turning the lot immediately east of its casino into a parking garage.

Isle executive Bill Kilduff said it's phase one of a two phase expansion that will completely change the look and the feel of his resort. "The bottom line is the quality of competition on the coast is really high," Kilduff said. "And we have a good quality product right now. But we need to increase the size and really increase our quality so that we can continue to be a big player moving forward."

The Isle's garage, new hotel and entertainment complex will coast about $70 million. Kilduff expects them to be the catalyst for another round of multi-million dollar changes at South Mississippi casinos. Part of the Isle of Capri garage could open this summer. That's when hotel construction begins.

At Beau Rivage, the new suites should be ready in June.