Grand Island View Hotel Comes Crashing Down - - The News for South Mississippi

Grand Island View Hotel Comes Crashing Down

A crowd of several hundred got up early this morning to witness the Grand Casino Island View Hotel come crashing to the ground.

One spectator even traveled from as far away as Florida to get a close up look at today's big implosion. Just after 6:30 a.m., Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway pushed the button, setting off the explosives that turned the 12-story structure into nothing more than a massive mound of broken concrete.

Five hundred pounds of explosives were used. The site was a relief for some, including Ocean Springs resident Devvon Mitchell.

"I think it's probably a landmark of rebuilding, and it shows that we're getting somewhere with everything because, I mean, Biloxi's taken so long to get this far even with it," Mitchell says.

Terri Poff drove all the way from Florida for what she called a great photo opportunity. 

"It's unsual to see a building go down. I have a postcard from the fifties of this coast, and to see it go back to its natural ways is interesting, too," Poff says.

New York volunteer Frank Kelsey took pictures of the implosion, but he says no camera could capture the experience of seeing it first hand. 

"You see so much destruction down here, and to see another building disappear, it's tough. Yeah, it's hard," Kelsey says.

As the dust settled, and the once grand Hotel lay in a pile of rubble, a hush fell over the crowd, as people from near and far reflected on what used to be, and what's on the horizon.

By Toni Miles

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