BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After three months of major renovations, the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino officially opened its doors to an eager public Friday.
What started as the Isle of Capri, the first casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast 20 years ago is now the newest, with a new name and a new look. Those who put it all together believe it's also most exciting place to be.
Thousands of people came out to witness the cutting of a ribbon and cannons that spewed shiny gold confetti into the air. Cold beer and champagne was handed out to every single guest as the anticipation built.
You'd never even recognize it as the former Isle Casino. There's now a long list of new amenities like Morton's Steakhouse, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, all newly renovated hotel rooms and suites along with all new gaming tables and slot machines.
Owner Tilman Fritata said this is an exciting day for the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"It's great to be in Mississippi and get the first phase of the Golden Nugget done and let everybody see what's happening here."
Phase one completely transformed the property with $100 million already spent here. With two more phases coming soon, by early next year, The Golden Nugget will be a new 35,000 square foot casino with even more restaurants, clubs, retail and gaming space.
"As we finish this phase and then another group in December, and it will all be done in March and it will really be unbelievable," Fritata said.
Vice President of Marketing Brad Rhines said he's honored to be a part of the investment in South Mississippi. There's pride in the fact that the more than 200 new employees are almost all locals who are also getting a brand new start.
"We've got great new associates and long tenured associates who are going to fill in as well," Rhines said. "Here we are today at the brand new Golden Nugget, completely renovated and state of the art, awesome, awesome property."
The public is invited to the Golden Nugget for a weekend long celebration where you'll get to meet the stars of the hit show "Duck Dynasty" and sit behind the wheel of an official NASCAR.