WLOX.com has learned the Palace Casino will be the first South Mississippi casino resort to eliminate smoking inside the resort. In announcing the smoke free decision, Palace General Manager Keith Crosby told WLOX News Director Brad Kessie, "If there was ever a time to do it, it's now."
The Biloxi casino closed Tuesday afternoon to complete a $53 million expansion. When it reopens on June 14, smoking will be banned on the casino floor, in restaurants, and in all Palace hotel rooms.
"It creates a better environment for our guests and our associates," said Crosby.
The Palace will create a million dollar smoking lounge on its grounds, turning a patio area near Mignon's restaurant into a place for smokers to congregate. But no smoking will be allowed inside the resort.
Crosby said a survey of Palace guests indicated eight out of 10 people don't smoke. So, banning smoking in his brand new facility just seemed logical.
"We know the physical impact that smoke has on the property," Crosby said. "It's a bold move."