Wider Biloxi Road Could Steer Casinos To Back Bay

It started with a ceremonial snip of a blue ribbon. Moments later, a Biloxi police officer gave the word.

"Open it up," he radioed to the road crew.

Just like that, the wider, straighter version of Bayview Avenue had traffic on it more than a week early. That fact thrilled realtor Gray Slay.

"I think that it's the greatest thing that has happened here in the last seven or eight years," Slay said.

Slay has red signs on property right along the new road. He's hoping developers will stop and look at the nine acre site.

Ziggy Gutierrez owns the back bay land. He's one of at least three back bay property owners who could hit the jackpot if casinos use the new road to move into the neighborhood.

"I do think its going to become a casino one day," Gutierrez said.

And he believes the road is "the reason why. There's no doubt about it."

At least three back bay sites can be developed into casinos.  They all have enough land for hotels and other amenities. Many people think the new Bayview could be the catalyst to bring more casino development to the back bay.

Mayor A.J. Holloway said one of the reasons Biloxi widened Bayview was to make it more attractive to casino developers.

"More than anything, I think it would be condusive for gaming," he said.

Yet one gaming analyst told WLOX News without a major casino on the back bay, new Bayview Avenue resorts would be iffy propositions. Now that the new road is open, Gray Slay said he knows developers who would take that chance.

"We feel sure that it will open up the entire back bay area that we've been waiting on for six or seven years," said Slay.