The Mississippi Gaming Commission gave site approval Thursday to the proposed Biloxi Boardwalk Casino & Resort.
It’s the first in a series of approvals required for the casino proposed by Louisiana businessman Chris Ferrara. Biloxi Boardwalk would be the 10th casino in Biloxi and 13th on Mississippi’s coast. It used to be a Heinz pet food factory and Ferrara bought the 37 acres and 185,000 square-foot building in 2000 after the factory closed.
Ferrara, who also owns fire truck maker Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden, La., said he wants to renovate the building to hold a 50,000 square-foot casino and a 100,000 square-foot convention center.
“A lot of people take the building for granted,” said Ferrara, who noted that it survived 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. “We think it’s a fortress.”
Ferrara has built a marina at the site and plans to open a restaurant in September.
He also said the complex would include an outdoor amphitheater and a RV park. However, he wouldn’t say whether he plans a hotel.