BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - New this morning, the latest on Margaritaville and whether it will close. WLOX News has been told more meetings will be held Tuesday to review how much longer the casino can keep catering to guests.
For the moment, the answer is it's business as usual on Biloxi's back bay. However, Margaritaville managers still say they'll likely shut down the Biloxi casino on or before September 19.
Margaritaville's future became a murky mess on July 21. That's the day general manager Doug Shipley told his 350 employees the back bay casino was teetering on the brink of extinction. He noted Margaritaville was caught in a lease fight with its landlord, a point emphasized by the casino's attorney at a news conference after the staff meeting. "We've had several discussions without reaching an agreement to amend the lease," attorney Michael Cavanaugh said three weeks ago.
Cavanaugh tells WLOX News recent talks have been just as difficult. Unless significant progress is made, Margaritaville managers realize they can't get the funding they need to build a hotel.
"Without a hotel and related amenities," Cavanaugh said July 21, "he (Shipley) does not believe the business can be competitive in the Biloxi market."
So the only other alternative, says Cavanaugh, is to close.
Employees were guaranteed paychecks until mid-September, though the doors at Margaritaville could be locked any time before then.
Whenever a decision about Margaritaville's future is made, you'll read about it on WLOX.com.