Biloxi approves new 12-story hotel tower for Hard Rock - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi approves new 12-story hotel tower for Hard Rock

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Soon the Hard Rock Biloxi will be breaking ground on a new 12-story hotel tower. On Tuesday, the $32 million project got an unanimous thumbs up from the Biloxi City Council.

Crews are tearing up the slab to make way for a new154 room hotel tower. Hard Rock Biloxi's General Manager said property tax breaks from both Biloxi and Harrison County made a huge difference in convincing investor that expansion was worthwhile.

"The credits helped that we were able to get," said Duncan McKenzie, General Manager. "Plus the return that we are able to show our owners that they're investment was put wisely into this great tourism destination of Biloxi, Mississippi."

Biloxi leaders are so eager to get the project moving. After the first reading during the regular council meeting instead of waiting two weeks for a vote, a special meeting was called to expedite approval.

Ward Two's Bill Stallworth said, "I think this is a great step in the right direction. It's another great project. It's a funded project. People are ready to start breaking ground immediately and we need to move with all due haste to make it happen."

"I think it's great. It adds a lot of rooms," said George Lawrence of Ward One.

Hard Rock officials say they hope other properties are watching.

"We certainly hope that others will take cue," said McKenzie. "We think that more hotel rooms on the Gulf Coast will certainly help the tourism destination, give people places to stay when they come down here to do fun things besides casinos."

McKenzie said, "All the beach related, golf, museums, restaurants. There is just a plethora of things you can do down here."

Hard Rock officials said the new hotel tower should be complete at the end of next year.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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