Proposed Gulfport resort could carry a $2 billion price tag - - The News for South Mississippi

Proposed Gulfport resort could carry a $2 billion price tag

(Photo source: Ovalia Resorts) (Photo source: Ovalia Resorts)

By Brad Kessie – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Is a $2 billion casino resort in the Port of Gulfport's future? The owners of Ovalia Resorts hope the answer is yes. They've let port leaders know they have an interest in creating a 50 story hotel, and 2800 hotel rooms attached to it.

Ovalia Resorts was one of seven companies to contact the port and file request for interest paperwork by a June 18th deadline.

Right now, Port of Gulfport leaders have no plans to lease its land closest to Highway 90. However, as they build out their master plan, they are exploring options, in case they decide to let a non-maritime company develop the acreage near the highway.

The business development manager for Ovalia Resorts is Hussain Al-Shibib. He told WLOX News the company moved to Gulfport in 2007 to help the community rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

Al-Shibib said this potential two billion dollar investment could create 7,000 construction jobs, and 10,000 permanent jobs. He estimated the construction work could mean a $3.8 billion economic impact. And Al-Shibib said the annual economic impact once the resort opened could be as much as $687 million a year.

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