Weekly Fireworks Show Will Put Casino Row In The Limelight

The $250,000 fireworks promotion is the latest example of how casinos are spending more marketing than ever before to bring in guests.

Donna Smith took advantage of one of those promotions.  She found a package deal from Florida to Casino Row that she couldn't pass up.

"Airfare, hotel, meals, ground transportation, everything. It's all one, nice, neat package," Smith said.

The newest promotion to attract gamblers this summer will actually be outside the three Biloxi casinos on Casino Row. Every Friday night at 9:00, people will gather near the water, so they can look up and watch a 20 minute fireworks show.

David Spiers work for the New Orleans company that will launch the fireworks.

"It's larger than most displays we do in downtown New Orleans," he said.

Spiers said he thought the fireworks would be a good ploy to bring gamblers to Biloxi. Casino Magic general manger John Ferrucci agreed.

"This whole display is going to cost in excess of a quarter million dollars," he said, "not even counting what we're spending on the marketing of it."

At a news conference along Casino Row, casino executives admitted that $250,000 was a steep price to pay for a marketing promotion. But they said the cost will be worth it, if the fireworks celebration brings a business explosion to their casino floors.

Duncan McKenzie runs Grand Casino Biloxi. When he addressed the media, he said, "Where else can you go on the weekend and see fireworks, go to shows, go to restaurants, and have great casino action?"

January, February and March were record months for coast casinos. Their gross revenues were up. But as Thursday's fireworks announcement pointed out, they've spent more money than ever to make gamblers feel welcome.

"Certainly there are marketing challenges," McKenzie said. "It's kind of nice when we can share some of those challenges with our properties that are in the same proximity. So this is a nice way to put on a really big marketing effort jointly."

The Casino Row fireworks show will get an assist from two local radio stations. Each Friday night, the fireworks will be synchronized to music. So you'll be able to listen to the show on K-99 and Magic 93.7.