Silver Slipper doubles down: Casino breaks ground for hotel
By Dwayne Bremer
Sep 20, 2013, 23:52
Hancock County officials join Full House and Silver Slipper employees in the ceremonial groundbreaking.
For most of the past two decades, there has been a casino in Lakeshore, but soon, the area will see its first modern resort hotel.
Officials from the Silver Slipper Casino and its parent company Full House on Friday broke ground on the casino's new 140-bed hotel, a $17 million investment which casino and community leaders alike hope will attract more people and money to Hancock County.
"Can you believe this day is finally here?" Silver Slipper CEO John Ferrucci said Friday. "Many of you were here when we broke ground on the casino eight-and-a-half years ago. It has been a long journey."
Full House Chairman Andre Hilliou said the hotel is a "dream come true" and that his company is "extremely excited" about the future of the Silver Slipper.
"It is a pleasure to do business here in Mississippi," Hilliou said. "John and the staff here at the Silver Slipper make it fun, friendly, entertaining, and profitable."
The hotel will be the first development to take advantage of Hancock County C-4 zoning in the Lakeshore area.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Hancock County Board of Supervisors changed the zoning in the area to allow commercial resort developments on the beach-front in Lakeshore.
After a lengthy legal battle which went all the way to the state supreme court, the zoning finally went into effect in 2008.
Hancock County Building Official Anthony Cuevas said Friday that the Slipper hotel is a by-right use under the C-4 zoning.
Çuevas said the Slipper is finalizing all of its permits and should be ready to begin construction soon.
Board of Supervisors President Lisa Cowand said the new hotel will complement what the casino already does for the community.
"We are very grateful that you recognized the potential in our community," Cowand said. "The Slipper is a prized possession of our county."
The new hotel will be built just to the south of the current casino in an area currently used as a parking lot. Ferrucci said once construction begins, it should take about a year to complete the hotel.