GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport announced plans Wednesday to revitalize 40 acres of property on the beachfront side of the resort. The $50 million expansion plan will include a beachfront hotel, restaurants, meeting and convention space, as well as a pool and bar overlooking the beach and Gulf of Mexico.
The hotel will be constructed within the existing footprint of old tower, currently located on the south side of Beach Boulevard.
"The 16-story beachfront hotel tower will offer exceptional views of the Gulf of Mexico, along with immediate access to the beach. Those features are a unique combination not only in our market, but also for the region," said Rick Carter, a Coast resident and businessman who owns the resort with partner and fellow Coast native, Terry Green. "The project will meaningfully contribute toward enhancing overall tourism, creating local jobs and cementing the position of the Gulf Coast as the premier gaming destination in the South."
Construction will begin this fall and is expected to be completed by summer 2015.
"We are very pleased to see Island View, our tenant, move forward with the restoration of this property," said Jim Simpson, president of the Board of Commissioners of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport. "This will be a positive development for Gulfport, the port and the tourism industry on the coast."
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said city leaders fully support the expansion and are enthusiastic about the future development.
"This beautiful coastal property will soon come to life and ignite new development along our Gulfport shoreline," Mayor Hewes said.
Dr. John Kelley, chief administrative officer for the city of Gulfport, said he expects the expansion to create several hundred jobs, "that will have a strong impact on Gulfport's economy."
According to Island View, the expansion will increase Gulfport's hotel-room inventory by approximately 400 beachfront rooms, as well as create the largest meeting and convention space in Gulfport and west Harrison County.