Hard Rock expansion Biloxi's big bet today

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hard Rock wants to build a second hotel in downtown Biloxi.  To do that, it needs the city council to amend its master plan.

Today, the council will take up an ordinance dealing with the 12 story hotel.

The hotel will have 154 rooms.  And it will be built on the west side of the resort's pool area.  An additional 146 parking spaces will be created.

"We think these hotel rooms might generate other investments in the locale and in the market," Hard Rock president Duncan McKenzie told WLOX News in July.  At that time, Hard Rock got a seven year tax break to make its $32 million investment.

Councilman George Lawrence supported that tax break in July.  In his opinion, the hotel is critical for the city's bottom line.  "More people come. More tourists come. Gaming. Everything adds to it so in the long run, it's going to add to the tax base tremendously," he said.

McKenzie sees his new hotel tower becoming a catalyst for Biloxi's tourism base.  "I think it's very important that we show that this market not only from a tourism standpoint but from a gaming standpoint is very viable," he said.

Today's Biloxi City Council meeting begins at 1:30 at Biloxi City Hall.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.