Biloxi thinks it's struck gold with Golden Nugget deal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi thinks it's struck gold with Golden Nugget deal

Golden Nugget's $150 million makeover of the former Isle property in Biloxi includes updating hotel rooms, creating new casino areas and adding other amenities including a variety of restaurants. Golden Nugget's $150 million makeover of the former Isle property in Biloxi includes updating hotel rooms, creating new casino areas and adding other amenities including a variety of restaurants.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Landry's Inc. got the signatures it needed today to buy the Isle Biloxi.  The city of Biloxi signed leases with Landry's Thursday morning, and the Secretary of State was expected to approve a tidelands agreement before the end of the day.  Those deals paved the way for Landry's to pay the Isle $45 million and take over the Point Cadet casino.

Landry's will eventually rename the property Golden Nugget Biloxi.

The buyer and seller closed on the deal today by completing the final order of business which involved signing a series of leases.  Thursday's move opens the door for Landry's to start a $150 million renovation of the property and begin a new era in the gaming industry in east Biloxi.

With a unanimous vote, a special meeting of the Biloxi City Council paved the way for transfer of ownership of the Isle casino to Landry's Inc. The deal closes with Landry's assuming responsibility for a variety of leases on the property.

Jeff Cantwell is the senior vice president of development for Landry's.

"We needed to get one of our landlord's consent which is the city of Biloxi to the assignment of the leases," Cantwell said. "This is a step in the process. We'll be getting final approval from the state and later today our gaming licenses. The transaction closes today and then we'll be operating the Isle as Landry's. We'll start renovation early next year."

Now that the T's have been crossed and the I's dotted, Landry's will pick up the pace on an ambitious renovation.  The $150 million makeover includes updating hotel rooms, creating new casino areas and adding other amenities including a variety of restaurants. The project is now on the fast track. 

"We have a 14 month construction schedule. The project will be completed in 2014," said Cantwell. "We'll have the casino re-branded as the Golden Nugget by the summer of 2013."

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway is thrilled over this deal being completed, and with the impending opening of the Golden Nugget. 

"This is huge for Biloxi and the gaming industry in the state. We're very excited about what's happening here today," the mayor said.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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