Island View unveils new hotel tower in Gulfport
By LISA MONTI
The local owners of Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport unveiled their 18-story hotel April 29 for guests and officials from the Coast and Jackson.
Rick Carter and Terry Green invested $58 million in the tower which had been vacant since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The beach tower was built on a 10-acre site on the south side of U.S. 90.
The Island View casino/hotel complex is now connected with the new beach tower by an airy skywalk above the busy highway.
This is the third phase of development at the casino, which opened in 2006. The second phase was in 2007 when 50,000 square feet of gaming and more food/beverage and entertainment space were added. The casino has 1,500 employees
“As a private, locally owned business, we recognized the opportunity to further invest in the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s future through this property expansion, which will strongly support the growth of our area’s tourism industry and create a significant economic driver, including approximately 300 direct jobs,” said Carter.
Construction on the new beach tower began in 2013 after a long-term lease between the casino company and the adjacent Mississippi State Port Authority was signed. The work was completed on time and ahead of budget by Roy Anderson Corp. of Gulfport and managed by architect Meng Chai.
“Island View has been an essential part of the Port’s operations for years, and the 50-year lease agreement between the two organizations has helped pave the way for Island View’s expan- sion,” said Jack Norris, Gulf Coast Business Council president and Port of Gulfport Commission president. “This project is not only beneficial to the growth of the Port but it also benefits the tourism industry and economic future of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
The beach tower, which has an art deco-inspired design, is smoke free. It has 405 rooms and suites, giving Island View a total of 970 rooms. There are seven food and beverage outlets in the expansion along with a day spa, fitness center, gift shop, boutique and 14,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space.
“The new beach tower hotel is symbolic of how Gulfport’s economy continues to thrive, and we stand on the verge of greatness because of the Island View Casino Resort and everything they bring to the City of Gulfport,” said David Parker, economic development director for the city of Gulfport. “Rick Carter and Terry Green, both see the vision and the future for their hometown, and they have injected private capital and created thousands of jobs to insure continued success for Gulfport.”