BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Casino executives from around the country are on the coast for this week's Southern Gaming Summit. The conference began in Biloxi Tuesday and runs through Thursday.
Those attending the gaming event will notice some significant changes in the coast casino market. Since last year's Southern Gaming Summit, several coast casinos are sporting new improvements and investments.
Golden Nugget in Biloxi just wrapped up a weekend celebration to mark its $100 million makeover, which includes new hotel rooms, restaurants and a swimming pool.
At Beau Rivage, visitors can look across Highway 90 to see the $36 million MGM ballpark coming out of the ground.
Construction is well underway, following the ground breaking celebration just a few months ago.
"This project is not just about baseball. It's about entertainment. It's about economic development," said Mayor A.J. Holloway, while speaking at the celebration.
Hard Rock contributed more than $30 million in economic development with the recent completion of its platinum tower hotel expansion project.
Meanwhile, Grand Casino Biloxi is also busy with a major upgrade.
"We're almost finished with our casino. We just opened Magnolia House by Kelly English, which is a comfortable fine dining restaurant. As everyone can see, our space, our green space across Highway 90 is getting to completion," said Kennedy Smith, marketing vice president for Grand Biloxi.
During last year's Southern Gaming summit, there was mention of the major eyesore that was the old Margaritaville project. Now, visitors will see an outdoor amenity under construction.
"Our great lawn at Harrah's Gulf Coast is going to be a wide ten and a half acre site, which will be landscaped. We'll have grass, we'll have a boardwalk all along the water. We're optimistic that it's going to be a fantastic investment for us," said Smith.
Grand Biloxi is about to become Harrah's Gulf Coast.
The casino resort just announced country star, Darius Rucker, will hold the first outdoor concert on the new green space, June 21st.
And those aren't the only casino projects finished or underway. Margaritaville plans to build a new hotel. Island View in Gulfport is renovating and re-opening the hotel tower on the beach. And in Hancock County, Silver Slipper is building a new hotel.