Joe Billhimer guided WLOX News through a virtual tour of the Hard Rock Biloxi. As the DVD reached Highway 90 and Main Street, the camera turned right. "This will be our primary entrance for the self parking garage," Billhimer said.
Billhimer was recently hired away from Grand Casino Gulfport to run the Hard Rock. "It's an exciting adventure," he said. "It's a great project. It's got great location, great brand name. Bringing something like this to the coast, from my standpoint, is the next evolution of gaming on the coast."
The western edge of the downtown property near the Windjammer condominium building is where Hard Rock will build its 11 story, 306 room hotel. Land right in front of Biloxi shrimp boats will become a seven story parking garage.
Hard Rock's restaurant, its music, and its guitar will all be incorporated into the downtown design.
Billhimer will create "a unique entertainment casino. Totally different than anything else in the market right now."
Developing a casino resort from the ground up is a totally different experience for Roy Anderson III. His company has built 13 Mississippi casinos. But this is the first time Anderson has invested in a project. His Premiere Entertainment group owns the downtown Biloxi site. "Quite frankly, it was an opportunity," Anderson said, "a very exciting opportunity for not only me personally, but also this company to be involved in the Hard Rock project to bring it to Biloxi."
Anderson believes the virtual casino will become a real casino by Memorial Day 2005. As you might guess, his construction team will build the Hard Rock Biloxi.
Because part of the site has already been a casino, getting the necessary permits to build isn't expected to be much of a problem. In September, Hard Rock developers will go to New York, to line up financing for this project. Construction of the downtown Biloxi Hard Rock should begin in October.