Hard Rock expects smooth construction schedule leading up to New Year opening
BILOXI — The countdown is on and those driving by the new hotel construction on U.S. 90 are watching to see if, with six of 12 floors built, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi can make its planned opening by New Year’s Eve.
“We are presently on schedule to be finished by the end of the year,” said Todd Raziano, chief financial officer at the casino, “assuming hurricane season cooperates.”
Premier Entertainment Biloxi and Hard Rock International are investing $32.5 million for the 154-room hotel going up on the west end of the resort, curving between the swimming pool and sidewalk.
Foundation work started in October and with a little more than six months to go, contractors are adding a floor every week to 10 days.
“It’s going to take shape pretty quickly,” Raziano said.
The next milestone will be the topping off, expected at the end of July. By the time Roy Anderson Corp. contractors reach the top of the 12-story tower, workers will be starting on the plumbing and walls on the levels below, he said.
The hotel is mostly glass to provide views of the water from every bedroom and bathroom. Seven of the 14 suites will be on the first level overlooking the resort pool and seven will be on the top level with views out into the Sound. “All 14 of these suites will be south facing,” Raziano said.
During construction, it’s business as usual at the rest of the resort.
“The contractors have been very accommodating,” he said. The swimming pool remains open except for a few brief closures and Raziano said the guests enjoy watching the work.
An enclosed connector will join the new hotel to the
rest of the Hard Rock resort. Raziano said customers who park in the adjacent site on the former Windjammer property or walk between the Hard Rock and neighboring Beau Rivage Resort & Casino will be able to enter the new hotel through elevators and get out of the heat or rain sooner than using the resort’s main entrance.
With hotel occupancy running at about 99 percent through the year, he said, “we always had plans to expand.”
Hard Rock expects the new hotel to create 90 more permanent jobs.
The expansion shows Hard Rock Biloxi’s commitment and confidence in Biloxi, Raziano said. Having such a visible project along the highway gets everyone in the community excited about what’s to come, he said.