Mar­gar­i­taville ex­pan­sion to add amuse­ment and wa­ter park

The Sun Herald - - Front Page - Mary Perez: 228-896-2354, @MaryPerezSH BY MARY PEREZ meperez@sun­her­ald.com

Plans have grown to $200 mil­lion for an ex­pan­sion of Mar­gar­i­taville Re­sort Biloxi.

The project by Biloxi Lodg­ing LLC will bring more ho­tel rooms, restau­rants and meet­ing space to East Biloxi along with what South Mis­sis­sippi res­i­dents have clam­ored for since Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina de­stroyed so many fam­ily at­trac­tions — an amuse­ment park with a gi­ant Fer­ris wheel, plus a wa­ter park.

A de­vel­op­ment agree­ment will go to the Biloxi Coun­cil on Tues­day. The project in­cludes:

● A ho­tel tower on the south side of U.S. 90 with about 360 ho­tel rooms, 60,000 square feet of con­ven­tion space, restau­rants and food venues

● A ho­tel tower on the north side with 160 rooms plus restau­rants

● An amuse­ment park with mul­ti­ple rides and ameni­ties next to the cur­rent Mar­gar­i­taville Re­sort Biloxi with a park­ing deck un­der­neath.

● A wa­ter park on the north side of the high­way.

The me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing the Biloxi Coun­cil will con­sider on Tues­day in­cludes es­tab­lish­ing a tax in­cre­ment fi­nanc­ing district to help pay for in­fra­struc­ture once the project is built and a Sales Tax Tourism Re­bate through Mis­sis­sippi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. Work is ex­pected to be­gin next year.

A TIF district in that area of Point Cadet could pro­vide for im­prove­ments be­yond Mar­gar­i­taville, and in­clude im­prove­ments to the ma­rina, pub­lic board­walks, shut­tle boats to Deer Is­land and a park­ing deck fi­nanced by the de­vel­oper, the city or both.

The ho­tel and amuse­ment park project at Mar­gar­i­taville was held up for about two years un­til the de­vel­op­ers and sec­re­tary of state came to an agree­ment on Tide­lands prop­erty that will be used for the de­vel­op­ment to the west of the cur­rent Mar­gar­i­taville.

The de­vel­oper pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated the new amuse­ment park and ho­tels will bring more than 1 mil­lion new vis­i­tors a year to Biloxi and cre­ate about 700 new jobs.

COUR­TESY OF BILOXI LODG­ING LLC

This ren­der­ing re­leased Fri­day shows the planned amuse­ment park at Mar­gar­i­taville Re­sort Biloxi, part of a $200 mil­lion ex­pan­sion.

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