President Casino Will Close By Halloween - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/09/05

President Casino Will Close By Halloween

John Ferrucci stood next to a craps table and stated the obvious.

"We can't reopen in Hancock County until we close in Biloxi," he said.

So Ferrucci and Silver Slipper sent a letter to more than 600 rank and file President Casino employees. It says that between October 15th and October 31st, the President will close, and their Biloxi casino jobs will be gone.

"They will be given first priority to be rehired with Silver Slipper in Hancock County," the Silver Slipper executive said.

It's an odd time inside the casino. Silver Slipper has crews refurbishing five different areas on the barge. While they renovate, President employees are still dealing cards to loyal President players. Those employees now have a choice. Reapply for jobs, and potentially work in Hancock County, or say goodbye to this barge.

"There are some wonderful people who work here. We are very anxious for them to join us," said Ferrucci.

President employees didn't feel comfortable talking about the termination letters on camera while they were at work. Off camera, some said they understood the decision to close in October. Others said they were surprised.

When John Ferrucci heard that, he said he didn't think anybody should be surprised, because when Silver Slipper bought the President, it let everybody know the casino was moving to Hancock County by the end of the year.

"The sooner we get this happening, the sooner we get the original destination, and that is to open the Silver Slipper," he said.

The current plan is to replace the President name with the words Silver Slipper on February 1, 2006 in Hancock county.

Ferrucci says the President barge needs to be towed to Hancock County in early November. Otherwise, the tides may be too low for the barge to be moved.

"We have a window of opportunity to move the barge," he said. "If we miss that window, it may be that we can't get out before the end of the year, and that certainly would be the worst case scenario."

by Brad Kessie

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