East Biloxi eyesore may soon be a thing of the past

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It was going to be a $700 million casino, but construction stopped in 2009 when the U.S. economy sank. It's been a looming hulk ever since. Spanning several acres, most consider it an eyesore, including tourists.

Gary Loveman is the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns the property. There is hope it could soon be gone.

"Well, we've been in discussions with the governor about alternatives about how to make that existing structure go away and I think given that there's been very little interest in picking it up to do other kinds of developments. I think that's probably where we're headed," Loveman explained.

For visitors coming to Biloxi to stay and play for a few days, this is usually one of the first things they see, the eyesore property on Point Cadet. It reminds them of something that happened seven and a half years ago on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, even though this eyesore can't be blamed on Hurricane Katrina.

Linda Malin is from Florida. "I thought it looked like something that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina."

Karen Lance is also from Florida. "My first impression was that it was from Katrina."

That name, Katrina, keeps coming up.  Jerry Creel is the Biloxi Community Development Director.

"We've had a number of developers come in and say, even though it was built after Katrina, it still kind of creates that reminder of Katrina and they would really like to see it go away before they invested money in east Biloxi," Creel said.

With no interest in the property, what comes next for Loveman and his company?

"I think over time the facility will be taken down and the material be used for other purposes."

That can't come soon enough for city officials, like Creel.

"We will feel a definite sense of relief once it's removed."

And for tourists, like Malin.

"The view would be a whole lot better if it wasn't there. It's really ugly, so I would say it should be torn down."

No timetable has been set yet for any possible demolition of the structure.

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