D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - After 22 years of promises made and broken, the city of D'Iberville will apparently land its first casino. Many companies have tried and failed. Thursday, the Mississippi Gaming Commission voted to allow Land Holdings One to begin construction on the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort. This after the company secured the $280 million in financing needed to build it.
The Scarlet Pearl will be built on property along Biloxi's Back Bay. It will have 60,000 square feet of gaming space, a 300 room hotel tower, and a 36 hole miniature golf course.
At a nearby beauty salon, it means more chairs might be filled. Margaret Aucoin is the owner.
"Well, I'm real glad to see it come because I think it will help my business. I think we'll do a lot more haircuts and it will just boost D'Iberville. I like the idea," Aucoin said.
More shrimp might be bought at a seafood business owned by Tam Tran.
"I believe when they open the casino, the city of D'Iberville will be really good. It will grow up really good and I believe my business will do good."
More cars might stop in for a quick fix at a local auto repair shop. Anita Corwin has been in business since 1995.
"For this part of the old town, it will actually pick up business. We've been needing more development down in this area to bring traffic back to us. So hopefully, here, the business will pick back up," Corwin said.
Sykes Haney has been in town for a long time. His shop is a fixture in the city. What's his reaction to the news?
"Well, that's a wonderful thing. The more traffic, the more business. D'Iberville has kept the old town clean and growing," Haney said.
Not only are business owners waiting in eager anticipation of the casino, so are city officials. The reason? It could bring economic development to an area that was absolutely washed away by Hurricane Katrina.
"It will start a whole new life down here that Katrina took away," City Councilman Randall Pelous said. "The economic development down here will be amazing when this starts."
Amazing might just be an understatement for a city that has patiently waited for its chance to try out Lady Luck.
City officials will meet with casino executives in the next few days to sign off on the final paperwork. Construction on the Scarlet Pearl could begin in the next two weeks. Roy Anderson Corporation is the contractor for the job, and the casino and hotel should be finished in about 17 months.