Beau Employee Protected Ransacked Resort - - The News for South Mississippi

Beau Employee Protected Ransacked Resort

When Sardie Canann returned to Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina came ashore, he was shocked at what he saw. The Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge was gone. And so were entire communities.

"You just ask yourself why Biloxi? Why us? The only thing you could say to yourself was, why?" 

Unfortunately Canaan didn't have much time to ponder those questions. Like other properties around the area, Katrina ransacked his family's east Biloxi home.

"I looked at my mother's house, it was almost like the wind had picked it up and pushed it to the side," he said.

Things didn't look much better at work.

"Everything on the casino floor was pushed forward," the Beau Rivage security guard said. "At that time, I thought they weren't going to rebuild."

Canaan didn't let his fear of the unknown get in the way of his responsibility.

"I just let them know that I'll come back and help secure the property," he said.

Three days after Katrina hit, Canaan was back on security detail at Beau Rivage. And he's been there ever since.

"I'm very proud, very proud," Canaan said while driving a golf cart under the Beau Rivage hotel. "I have a lot of friends that don't have a job. I'm fortunate to be working."

Just a few days from now, the dedication of people like Sardie Canaan will pay dividends. Beau Rivage will reopen in downtown Biloxi, one year after Katrina plowed into it.

"I marked it on my calendar. I constantly counted down the days," Canaan said. "That was probably the best news that I heard, that they were going to come back."

For a few hours every day, the man named 2005's Beau Rivage Employee of the Year can ride a golf cart around the Beau property and forget what the hurricane did to the resort, and to the city. Being at work gives Canaan "peace of mind, because I got tired of seeing debris everywhere," he said.

"And just to look out front and see the garden all beautiful, it gives me peace of mind now, the rebuilding phase started to come in."

Beau Rivage will open Tuesday with about 3,800 employees on its payroll. According to a Beau Rivage news release about the August 29 opening, it will have "an immediate impact on the local economy while simultaneously helping to revitalize Mississippi Gulf Coast tourism."

by Brad Kessie

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