Hancock County Buzzing Over "The Donald"

Hancock County was a buzz on Tuesday following news that area could soon become linked with international business mogul Donald Trump.

As WLOX News first reported Monday night, Trump Entertainment Resorts signed a letter of intent with Diamondhead Casino Corporation to build a casino-hotel resort south of Interstate 10. The plans also include condominiums.

Hancock County business owners Larry Smith and Tina Stiglet stopped into Jackie O's Restaurant Tuesday to chew on the news that Donald Trump wants to put a casino in Diamondhead.

"I think it would be an excellent choice for him," said Larry Smith who runs a computer business. "He has a built in clientele, the area is ready for new development and I just think it would be a perfect climate to have a new resort area come in here. "

Fellow business owner Tina Stiglet said, "I think it would be great for Hancock County. I think its far away enough from the residents of Diamondhead where it doesn't interfere as bad. Any progress is good as far as right now. We need it."

Some residents questioned if the infrastructure in Diamondhead could handle the influx of people that a casino might bring, but others felt the benefits would outweigh any drawbacks.

"May have to do things a little different, but the tax base ought to help Hancock County," said Marge Kusser. "We'll get better schools, better roads, should do a lot for Hancock County."

Between bites, the lunch time crowd speculated about how having the Trump stamp on the area would put the spotlight on Hancock County.

"It's a name that people know international and people have heard about his resorts internationally, so I think that will have an impact," said resident April Lollar.

The Bissells are one of those building back. Across the horizon they can already see one casino and they have mixed feelings about another for fear it will take away Diamondhead's small town feel.

"Diamondhead will be rebuilt, but it will never be the same. It's going to be bigger and better, but never the same," Sherie Bissell said.

Trump's Hancock County casino resort would cover at least 40 acres of land off of the Interstate near exit 16.