Don Culpepper Reports Hurricane Forces Halt To Casino Construction - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/09/05

Don Culpepper Reports Hurricane Forces Halt To Casino Construction

With lots of work left to be done, employees at Biloxi's newest casino are putting the finishing touches on wind and water proofing the 235 million dollar project against the threat of Hurricane Dennis.

"We brought in some people working triple shifts the last 2 or 3 days to have all the purple glass, particularly on the south side and the west side re-cauked," says Hard Rock Developer Roy Anderson III. "We brought in some gunnite crews to go ahead and solidify the sides of the pool in case we have some water coming into the site."

The Hard Rock's signature 112 foot Guitar marquee was also the focus of some last minute attention.

"We're trying to beat the high winds just to get the sign on the column where it will be safe," says Todd Ducote, shop foreman for Kojis and Son's Sign Co. 

The Louisiana sign company designed the guitar to withstand winds up to 180 miles per hour.

"We're going to finish today period," says Ducote. "It's going to happen."

The plan to have sign finished and the Kojis and Son's crew on their way north by late Saturday afternoon. But while hotel and casino construction crew will have to lock down, break, and wait for Dennis to pass, they're confident they'll finish on time despite what this weekend or the rest of hurricane season has to offer.

"As you can see we're going forward," says Project Manager Karl Bulot. "We're going to open on time one way or another and we're not going to be foolish. We're taking the right preparations, making sure everything's done, but Hard Rock's going to open on time."

Those are odds Hard Rock officials say could change if the Mississippi Coast is ever dealt a more direct hit.

"We just hope for the best and play the cards that's dealt us on this deal," says developer Anderson.

by Don Culpepper

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