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While the casino industry has struggled to retain its clientele during the coronavirus pandemic, one property in the South decided it would try something else.

It meant spending money, hiring new employees and giving its customers a reason to visit their property.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in Mississippi unveiled its Orchid Room last week. It’s high-limit gaming with special amenities and the hope is players of all ranges will give it a try.

“We’re always trying to upgrade the property, said LuAnn Pappas, Scarlet Pearl’s CEO. “We’re unique in that we’re the only casino on the Gulf Coast offering this kind of service.”

The D’Iberville casino spent $2 million on the Orchid Room as part of a $30 million upgrade project throughout the property. And while the high-end area has an exclusive feel to it, anyone who is a Pro Rewards member in the casino’s player loyalty program can enter and play.

“There’s no prerequisite,” Pappas said. “We want all our customers to feel like they are welcome.”

What will those that do enter the Orchid Room find? A pod-like setup which includes a personal TV along with a phone charger at each machine. Warm-scented hand towels, slippers and throw blankets. Neck massages. Upscale snacks, including but not limited to lobster rolls, avocado toast and lamb chops. Crafted cocktails. And personalized service from all those who work the room.

“We gave it a lot of thought and went into a lot of detail for this,” Pappas said. “We hired 111 people and put them through rigorous training. We used local companies to outfit them.”

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And all of this during a time where the industry is struggling to keep the doors open and show customers that it’s safe to visit.

“In Mississippi, we were able to reopen with every other slot machine available and we’ve done really well,” Pappas said. “We have had all the protocols in place and have followed the state guidelines.

“A lot of casinos have cut back on spending and have laid off employees. But we thought the time was right to do something special for our customers and we are so excited about the Orchid Room. We think it’s going to be very popular.”

About the Author

Steve Carp

Steve Carp is a six-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year. A 30-year veteran of the Las Vegas sports journalism scene, he covered the Vegas Golden Knights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2015-2018.

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