Isle Celebrates Its 10th Birthday A Day Early

The Isle of Capri brought in its fleet of antique fire trucks to celebrate its version of Mardi Gras.

Cathe Guillotte is one of 60 original Isle employees who still work for the Biloxi casino. She won an employee lottery to ride in the 10 year anniversary parade. "It's been fun," Guillotte said. "A lot of fun. The company is good, takes care of you."

A few fire trucks in front of Guillotte was Nadine Ness. She's also spent a decade with the Isle. "I've met a lot of great people," she said. "It's a lot of fun to be around them."

On August 1, 1992 Isle of Capri CEO Bernard Goldstein took a chance on Mississippi by moving his riverboats, and his corporate offices to Biloxi. A decade later, the Isle has paid more than $100 million in taxes, and $228 million in salaries.

On the day before the company's 10th birthday, Goldstein led the parade across Highway 90, into his Point Cadet resort. "I would never believe that 10 years since we came here, that this would develop," the parade grand marshal said. "That the Isle would develop like it did, that Biloxi would develop like it did. I can't imagine what it's going to be 10 years from now."

No matter how it grows, Isle president Jack Galloway said the resort will always be a fun place for its guests to visit. "You guys have helped make us successful that way," Galloway said to his employees. "And we really appreciate it."

Nearly 1,000 people work at the Isle of Capri.

They have jobs because in 1992, Biloxi Port Commissioners like Joe Creel signed off on the Isle's Point Cadet plans. Creel attended the Isle's birthday parade. "It's beyond my wildest expectations to be a part of this massive, massive enrichment for the city of Biloxi," the former port commissioner said.

The Biloxi based Isle of Capri corporation owns 14 casino resorts. That number is about to fall to 13, because the Isle is selling its Tunica County casino. The Isle of Capri is the seventh largest publicly traded casino company in the nation.

Read more about the 10 year anniversary of coast gaming in our WLOX News Special Report "The Big Bet."