Hard Rock Resort Starting To Take Shape - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/17/05

Hard Rock Resort Starting To Take Shape

More than 500 construction workers have just more than two months to finish the ceilings, paint the walls, and decorate the Hard Rock Biloxi complex.

Whether it's in the front lobby, an adjacent hallway, or the newly created swimming pool area, you can see developers' dreams quickly coming to life.

Joe Billhimer is the Hard Rock Biloxi's president.

"We've got a great brand, a great concept. And people want to be part of it," he said.

The last time Hard Rock gave WLOX News a tour of this property, the floor of the casino was about 10 feet above where it was supposed to be. Now, the barge has been sunk and secured in its proper position. As Billhimer pointed out, "It's starting to look like a casino."

As construction teams screwed dry wall into place Friday morning, gaming agents walked through the property. They wanted to see the facility, and find out where slot machines would be stored until the casino floor was finished. Those machines should arrive at about the same time Hard Rock whittles down its employee list -- from 11,000 applications to 1,500 workers.

"I think it means that the gulf coast is a mature gaming market," Billhimer said. "And I think we've got some of the best applications on the coast."

The next significant date circled on Hard Rock calendars is July sixth. That's when the guitar it's turned into a massive marquee should arrive at the downtown Biloxi property.

Contractors say they should be done building and furnishing the Hard Rock resort by the end of August. The tentative opening is scheduled for early September.

by Brad Kessie

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