BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Millions of dollars saturating the South Mississippi economy as casinos celebrate a successful holiday return. Memorial Day’s numbers are now in, and it seems the economy won big.
The Silver Slipper Casino saw a 12.3% jump in its gaming revenue. Thursday was the second-best Thursday in the property’s 12-year history. Overall casinos pulled in $33.9 million Thursday through Monday. Last year, during the same time span, they only pulled in $28.9 million. This is also without one of the largest casinos in South Mississippi, as the Beau Rivage remains closed at the moment.
The $5 million increase is huge as it settles concerns about the casinos’ return and signals an uptick in the local economy. Hotels have already witnessed it. The Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association said the occupancy average for Friday and Saturday was 82.7%. Down 9% from last year, but way up from the drastic 30-40% declines they have seen since COVID-19.
MGM Resort Executives have seen the numbers, and while they have been patient in regard to reopening, they are interested to see casino attendance numbers this summer.
“Look, I think summertime demand has always been strong here. Obviously Memorial Day was an economic boom historically, but for us, this is about the long haul. This isn’t going to be about any particular weekend. We desperately want to make sure we get this right for our guests, our employees, and frankly the community," said MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle. "God forbid we have a resurgence and have to go the other way, it will be more detrimental. So for us, it’s about being thoughtful, being patient and making sure we create the right environment.”
The Beau Rivage had a soft open Thursday and will reopen to the public on June 1. With the opening of the Beau Rivage on Monday, all Coast casinos will have officially reopened.