Developer Says Billion Dollar Biloxi Casino Resort On Hold - - The News for South Mississippi

Developer Says Billion Dollar Biloxi Casino Resort On Hold

BILOXI (WLOX) -- The developer of a proposed billion dollar casino resort said Friday that plans are on hold.

Thursday, the state gaming commission ruled the Biloxi property where RW Development wants to build South Beach Casino Resort is not a legal gaming site. Now the question is, how will this impact the rest RW's building plans, including a condo tower already under construction.

The project is called South Beach Casino Resort. The developer says without the casino, the prospect of building a resort of condos and shops is in doubt.

"They're on hold," said Ray Woolridge, head of RW Development. "Not permanent hold, but it's on hold because everything had been geared toward this approval. We would not have gone into this presentation and this application had we not thought that it was going to be approved."

Gaming commission members ruled RW Development's property located north of Highway 90 in Biloxi between Veterans and McDonell Avenues is not a legal gaming site. Woolridge said he doesn't understand that logic.

"When you look at what was presented, it was absolutely no rational for making that decision that it was not a legal site," said Woolridge. "I think it was a mistake. The decision was a mistake."

Woolridge said the resort may be on hold, but another RW project already underway will continue.

"The condo tower will be finished and that will be operated as a hotel. The condo market itself is very soft, as it is all over the country. We have the flexibility to turn it into a hotel. So it will be in full operation October 1st and will operate as a boutique hotel as part of a hotel expansion. There will be another hotel across the street connected by a cross walk and will be branded with a major brand very shortly."

Woolridge said RW Development has not yet decided whether to ask a judge to overrule the gaming commission's decision.

You can watch the full interview with Ray Woolridge Saturday at 6 p.m. on Newswatch This Week.

By Danielle Thomas

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