Boat Owner Wonders About Broadwater Marina's Future - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/24/05

Boat Owner Wonders About Broadwater Marina's Future

While Tom Becker had a crew testing his fire extinguishers, the charter boat captain talked about the Broadwater Marina's immediate future.

"My concern right now is where are we going, what exactly is going to happen to the boats that are in here," he said.

Becker skippered his boat "The Skipper" in and out of the Broadwater Marina long before the President Casino ever arrived. He hopes to still be in slip 37 this fall, after the casino barge moves to Hancock County.

"I've been here 21 years in this marina. And I hate to move," he said. "It's a good marina. It's a good locale. But my concern is exactly where are we going. We would like to get some concrete answers."

Right now, the Broadwater's future owners can only say the President barge is being sold and moved.

"It's a nice structure," future owner Roy Anderson said on Wednesday. "But overall, aesthetically it isn't going to fit into our master plan."

After that, they can't give concrete answers. They recently hired EDSA, a Florida design team, to map out what changes should be made to the marina and the resort.

Captain Becker has heard rumors about a new Broadwater casino on his north end of the marina. There's also talk about condominium development and retail shops on part of the 240 acre property.

Anderson said those are viable possibilities.

"Eventually we'll have a single platform casino design similar to Beau Rivage and Hard Rock," the developer said. "I think long term this is the right thing for the property."

Tom Becker appreciates the history of the Broadwater. But he doesn't think sentimentality should get in the way of a renovation that could restore the resort to prominence.

"I have mixed emotions. It's been an icon for years," the boat captain said. "But other than that, I'm looking forward to see what happens with this. And I'm wishing them the best. And I just hope that everybody is satisfied with whatever they do."

The first noticeable change should be in the fall, when the President's barge leaves the Broadwater.

The Silver Slipper casino group has a deal to buy the President's barge. The plan is for Silver Slipper to operate the casino at the Broadwater until November.  That's when it will be towed to Hancock County. 

The ownership change is supposed to be made in April, on the same day the future Broadwater owners officially buy the 240 acre Biloxi resort.

by Brad Kessie

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