Biloxi Mayor Vetoes Rezoning For Billion Dollar Casino Resort Proposal

In rejecting the council's four to three decision to rezone the old Tivoli property for a billion dollar casino resort, Mayor Holloway feels he made the right decision for the future of waterfront development in the city. Retired Air Force Lt. General Clark Griffith agrees.

"Nobody is saying we don't want any more casinos," says Griffith. "Just the opposite. We just want them in the right place."

As Chairman of Biloxi's Reviving the Renaissance Steering Committee, Griffin says he thought his committee and the city had already established where those places are, and aren't.

"Once you do this once, they're going to want to dot those things all the way down the front beach," says Griffith.

But long time Biloxi restaurateur Bobby Mahoney believes Biloxi is blowing it.

"It's not too often you get a chance at 4,000 jobs, $72 million a year in taxes, and try to get us to the next level in the casino business," says Mahoney, the owner of Mary Mahoney's Old French House Restaurant.

Mahoney says he and other business leaders see valuable property being squandered, instead of saved.

"It's a blighted piece of property that I don't know what's going to happen to it. In other words, they could put anything they wanted to put on that site but a casino, and everybody would have been happy. But just because the people wanted to put a casino in there and make some money, seems like it made everybody mad."

The project's developer, Biloxi Capital LLC, issued a single sentence press release in reaction to the mayor's decision.

"We are disappointed in the mayor's veto, however, we are steadfast in our commitment to this project."

Where that project will now be is anybody's guess.

"We might have sent it to Gulfport," says Mahoney.

It would take five votes from the seven member council to overturn the Mayor's veto. They have 10 working days from Thursday to consider it.