Hard Rock Breaks Ground On Biloxi Resort - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/10/04

Hard Rock Breaks Ground On Biloxi Resort

Entertainment is a Hard Rock trademark. So it was fitting that a local band called the Broadmoors, and local dancers entertained the Hard Rock's groundbreaking guests.

One of those guests was Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway.

"Let me borrow a line from that classic rock and roll Rolling Stones song," the mayor said. "I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it."

Just before he spoke, the mayor received a leather Hard Rock jacket. It represented seven long years of hard work by a group headed by Gregg Giuffria.

"To say the least, I'm humbled and honored to be back here and to be among you guys," Giuffria said to the guests gathered under a white tent.

Giuffria is from South Mississippi. He originally hatched the Hard Rock Biloxi concept. But, potential investors never stuck around long enough to see this project to its conclusion. Less than a year ago, Premiere Entertainment made his dream come true.

"It's going to be unique to here, but yet compliment everything else that's down here," Giuffria said. "It's going to be an entertainment resort."

Speaking of entertainment, two members of 3 Doors Down gave the Hard Rock people a guitar to hang in their resort. In return, the band got an invitation.

"Are you going to come play?" Hard Rock President Joe Billhimer asked the band members.

Chris Henderson replied by saying, "We're working on the gig now."

The groundbreaking VIP list included Hard Rock Cafe's international chairman Phil Clement.

"We're really thrilled to be part of this," he said. "One of the things that will make this particularly special is the great hospitality that exists here on the south coast."

One of Premiere Entertainment's key investors is local contractor Roy Anderson.

"It's going to be good for the gulf coast," Anderson said, describing the Hard Rock project.

Once the groundbreaking entertainment ended, Anderson the investor could concentrate on something he was a bit more familiar with -- building the $235 million resort. It's his company's responsibility to make sure this facility is open by the summer of 2005.

"I mean we're primarily, number one a general contractor, always will be," Anderson said. "But this is very exciting for our company. We're looking forward to it."

by Brad Kessie

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