D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Something is happening in D'Iberville that will change the economic landscape of the city for years to come. The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort is on schedule and on budget. And for the first time, we're giving you an exclusive look inside the $300 million project, from top to bottom.
Fifteen stories up, the view is spectacular at the Scarlet Pearl. What's happening on the ground floor is just as exciting. For the owner, Bob Granieri, this is a dream come true after years of trying.
"We're invited by the town fathers here to build a casino in D'iberville and they've been very accommodating. As a matter of fact, they couldn't have done more for us that they've done. So we see a great opportunity here," Granieri said.
When the casino opens, no doubt the economic impact is going to be great. But perhaps even greater are the jobs that are going to be created. And for Granieri, that is job number one.
"We're very proud to be able to help the economy in that way. To give jobs to 1,100 people, it's very rewarding. We're excited about it."
The casino is already helping local businesses as well, like a portable restaurant set up by El Rancho. Hundreds of construction workers stop by during lunch break. One of them is Wilbur Gildersleeve.
"I'm doing plumbing out here and I come over here and spend probably $65 or $70 a week on anything from burritos to hamburgers," Gildersleeve explained.
Work is going on everywhere, inside and out. The casino and hotel are almost totally enclosed now, and the guest rooms will be spacious. The world class miniature golf course is taking shape. But none of this will mean anything without one key component, according to Granieri.
"We'll create a family atmosphere for our employees. And they are the front line. We will only be a good as our people. And that's true in any industry."
He added that something else is also true these days.
"We need to have amenities that are family oriented, so it's not just about gaming. It's a total experience."
Weather permitting, company officials say the resort should be ready to open by mid-December, just in time for the busy holiday season.