The Scarlet Pearl brings more competition to the Mississippi Coa - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Scarlet Pearl brings more competition to the Mississippi Coast

The Scarlet Pearl, the Coast's newest casino, is scheduled to open for business in less than a month. (Photo source: WLOX) The Scarlet Pearl, the Coast's newest casino, is scheduled to open for business in less than a month. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The Scarlet Pearl, the Coast's newest casino, is scheduled to open for business in less than a month. It means more competition for casinos already here, but it's welcoming competition.

"You look at another property that's more marketing power in the other states. Now, we're not only competing with each other, we're also competing with neighboring states as well," said Golden Nugget General Manager Chett Harrison.

The Scarlet Pearl is adding marketing around the South in an effort to bring visitors to its casino. Golden Nugget general manager Chett Harrison hopes it will lead to not only an increase in players, but also more people staying in hotels.

"The overnight guest is worth a lot more to us than a day tripper," said Harrison.

Any new gaming property built on the Mississippi Coast must now also come with hotel space.

The Scarlet Pearl is adding 300 rooms to the market. It’s a big step towards matching the 17,000 hotel rooms available prior to Hurricane Katrina.

With the Scarlet Pearl's hotel, the number will be up to 15,000. Executive director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Renee Areng said the extra rooms are needed.

"What we've seen is that occupancy has kind of leveled out, but the average daily rate continues to grow. That indicates that there's definitely growth potential and room for those rooms on the market,” said Areng.

When new casinos come in, Harrison knows everyone else must raise their stakes to stay in the game.

"Being successful as a market is not just new competition coming in, but also as operators who are here to continue to invest in our product as well," said Harrison.

If the Scarlet Pearl is successful, more development is likely.

"With the discussion of the Biloxi Point and Gulfport, there are developers looking at the area to increase the gaming opportunities," said Areng.

The Scarlet Pearl is scheduled to open Dec. 9th.

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