D’IBERVILLE — A countdown clock in the center of the $290 million Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort showed Wednesday there are just six days until construction is complete.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 9, said Briana Dubaz, advertising assistant, after Roy Anderson Corp. turns over the casino next week and the restaurants, hotel rooms and miniature golf course are ready for their public debut.
Customers will park under the casino or in nearby parking lots beyond the Lava Links miniature golf course.
They enter the casino at the porte cochere, whose tall columns and circular theme are carried throughout the resort.
“Wow,” was the first impression of those Dubaz led on a tour of the property east of Interstate 110 near the end of Central Avenue in D’Iberville. All public spaces are on one floor and the casino is a wide-open room, with restaurants and a poker room along the sides.
Many of the chandeliers are circles of crystal and color, and the floor changes from marble to carpet woven in shades of scarlet and oranges, each pattern playing on the circle theme.
But the focus of the long room is a metal ceiling that reflects the casino’s light and color, with undulating trim like waves, drawing people through a sea of slot machines and table games.
At the far end are The Strand events center, PRL bar with a stage for entertainment and Waterfront Buffet with a wall of windows overlooking the Back Bay and Biloxi casinos. The buffet is a semi-circle of stations for soup and salad, Italian, Asian, grilled and comfort foods.
Diners can also choose Scarlet Grill, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant; Chop Stx for grab-and-go Asian cuisine; or Under the Oak Cafe, where diners eat beneath the branches of a manufactured tree.
All the latest and greatest slot machines are on the floor, Dubaz said, and there are surprises such as red, blue and green lights as slot handles. The Buffalo is expected to be one of the top games, although customers may prefer to sit down with Brittany Spears, Elvis, Duck Dynasty, the Flintstones or any of dozens of other themed games.
People can sign up online for a players club card before the casino opens and pick it up at the office at 10598 D’Iberville Blvd.
Scarlet Pearl is independently owned, so on opening day, “nobody coming in is going to have a Pearl Rewards card,” Dubaz said. The large, curved players reward desk will have extra staff for the opening and she said mobile ambassadors will be on the floor for sign-ups.
Many of the more than 1,500 employees are in training and openings are still posted on the company website. They also are preparing the 300 hotel rooms for guests. The 56 suites and 10 penthouse suites have amazing views of Back Bay and each room has a wall of windows that overlooks the water or city. A swimming pool is near the casino entrance.
One of the amenities most talked about by Coast residents is Lava Links miniature golf — a 36-hole lighted course just north of the casino.
Players will walk through the base of the volcano to collect a golf club and ball and as they play either 18 or 36 holes, the volcano will “erupt” with lava flowing down the sides. A circle around the outside of the course lets those with disabilities play.
At one point it didn’t look as though the golf course would be complete in time for the ribbon-cutting but crews are putting down the greens, and Dubaz said, “Everything opens Dec. 9.”