Casino Magic Bay St. Louis took another step forward this week in bringing back its resort post-Katrina. The resort's 100 space RV Park opened to the public Friday morning with little fan fair.
"We've done a lot of work to get these things open and, surprisingly, enough people are aware of it and coming in and enjoying the product just as it is. So we didn't see a lot of need to do a big ribbon cutting. We'll save that for when the casino and hotel opens back up," Casino Magic's Senior Marketing Director Marty Moore said.
The casino and hotel is expected to open later this year, sometime between October and December.
"We're still in a restoration mode here. We're still tearing out a lot of things and getting the building prepped so we can start the rebuilding process. I'm pretty happy to say that we have made our purchases for construction and are moving forward on that."
The temporary casino will be located on the first floor of the Magic's land based hotel the Bay Tower, which is also under renovation .
"Our hotel tower had some damage. All of the window seals failed, so we have to replace all of the windows and go in and replace all of the soft goods in all the rooms."
The Casino Magic Inn is slated to be demolished.
"There was quite a bit of storm surge through the area. We had 25 to 30 feet of water coming over the entire area of Casino Magic."
Despite the destruction, the casino's Arnold Palmer designed Golf Course The Bridges reopened just four months after the storm.
Paul Phillips of Waveland was one golfer happy to a favorite spot return to normal.
"It's great. It takes your mind off of things," Phillips said. "Once you're playing golf, you don't think about other things."
"The golf course is doing good numbers and we expect good numbers at the RV park too," Moore said.
The hope is for equally good numbers for the casino when it reopens later this year. Future plans included building a permanent casino on land. But a schedule for that work won't be determined until after the temporary casino is up and running.