Beau Rivage To Rebuild

Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage has said it will quickly rebuild Biloxi, Miss.’ Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

An MGM spokeswoman didn’t know if the casino’s 1,550-capacity theatre was damaged during Katrina’s sweep, but said it would be functional after rebuilding is complete.

“If there is damage there, of course [the theatre] is going to be restored,” MGM spokeswoman Yvette Monet told Pollstar.

MGM officials estimate that fixing the 1,740-room resort could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take 12 to 18 months – a frustrating setback for the facility’s 3,400 employees.

The $800 million Beau Rivage was built to withstand a Class 5 hurricane, but MGM predicts it will be the single-biggest loss of the 13 casinos lining the Mississippi coast.

At press time, workers had already cleared most of the mud and debris from the site.

“We plan to rebuild and rebuild quickly,” Mirage Resorts President/CEO Bobby Baldwin said. “While we will take the time necessary to carefully assess the situation, we are also dedicated to identifying the fastest way to rebuild and restart the Gulf Coast economy and the lives of our employees and their community.”

MGM will have invested more than $1 billion in the Gulf Coast region once the hotel reopens.

Mitchell Peters