Casino Openings Highlight Start of 2006 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

BILOXI, Miss., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ — When the Imperial Palace reopens as an upgraded, refurbished casino resort on December 22, the optimistic fresh start for the Mississippi Gulf Coast will begin with it.

Before New Year’s, the Imperial Palace, the Isle of Capri, and the Palace will all reopen, giving the heavily hurricane-impacted Coast a reason to greet 2006 with hope and a brighter outlook. Between them, the three resorts have approximately 2,000 rooms, all of which will be in high demand.

“Having these three resorts back in business will attract thousands of day trip customers, some of our meetings business, and many tour groups,” said Stephen Richer, Executive Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Although we still will be far short of our previous room inventory and meeting space, we know that the demand to visit our destination is high and that business will take off with the reopening of the Imperial Palace, the Isle of Capri, and the Palace.”

Another highlight of renewed tourism industry activity occurred on December 16, when American Eagle introduced two daily roundtrip flights from Gulfport/Biloxi Regional Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International. American Airlines had been out of the Mississippi Gulf Coast market for over a decade. The new service will help bring air seats back to 92% of pre-Katrina levels in January, when Continental adds additional seats.

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