D'IBERVILLE, Mississippi — The builder says construction of the $290 million Scarlet Pearl Casino resort in D'Iberville is on schedule.
Mayor Rusty Quave said that after 22 years of trying to get a casino and its accompanying revenue boost for the city, "I'm not going to be satisfied until they cut the ribbon and we walk in." That's scheduled for December 2015.
The 167,000-square-foot casino will be the centerpiece, but the resort is designed with a variety of other amenities to draw customers -- a 300-room hotel in a 15-story tower to capitalize on the views, a 500-seat event center, buffet and gourmet restaurants, a coffee shop/cafÃ© and a central bar.
"There's a very luxurious pool," Jason Taylor, project executive for Roy Anderson Corp., told The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1BlVc8U ).
One of the most anticipated amenities is a 36-hole miniature golf course complete with a towering volcano and water features.
"You'll get an erupting volcano at regular intervals," Taylor said.
Land Holding I, developer of Scarlet Pearl, hired COST of Wisconsin to wow visitors. COST recently built an active volcano feature for Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney in Florida and is working on an Asian elephant exhibit at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.
Scarlet Pearl is transforming what used to be the Old Town section of D'Iberville into a new draw for the city. Many of the homes that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina were demolished and the portion of Church Avenue that ran through the property was absorbed into the site.
City Manager Bobby Eleuterius said he took calls from neighbors concerned about the noise, but when they learned the casino would sit on auger piles rather than metal, "They were happy and satisfied. They're sitting on their porches and watching construction."
The podium level is where most of the restaurants and amenities will be, said Sal Mancini, owner representative. The hotel will take up the top 15 floors of the 18-floor resort and it will start going up very quickly, he said.
"A floor a week," Taylor said is the timetable.
He said the exterior glass wall curtain with a distinctive white wave pattern will be installed starting in February.
"It's being loaded in containers and shipped from China next week," Taylor said.
When the casino opens it will bring more than 1,200 permanent jobs, and Eleuterius said the city is working with developers to build mid-price housing in that area so people can walk to work. The new Coast Transit center a block from the casino will open in February, he said.
Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com