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Casinos Reopening in Tunica Following Record Floods

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
May/19/2011
Casinos Reopening in Tunica

The Gold Strike Casino was among three properties that began opening for business this week following two weeks of record flooding from a swollen Mississippi River

It’s back to business for a handful of Tunica casinos, which began reopening in the past couple of days following record flooding.

Gold Strike was among the first to do so.

“We’re anxious to open our doors for our customers and to get our employees back to work,” said George P. Corchis, Jr., president and COO of MGM Resorts International Regional Operations, which owns the Gold Strike Casino. “Our initial priority was the safety of our employees and guests. Once secure, our focus turned to mitigation efforts and asset protection. Now comes the exciting part, where we get to bring our incredible employees back to reopen the property and re-ignite tourism to the region.”

MGM advised Gambling911.com prior to the Gold Strike Casino closure that all employees would be paid in full during the crisis, including benefits. 

Gold Strike was one of three properties that were slated to be open for the weekend.  Roadhouse was expected to open at 2:30 p.m. today (Thursday May 19) and the Horseshoe at 4 p.m. Friday.

The other Tunica casinos are not likely to open until the end of next week, according to Larry Gregory, executive director of the state Gaming Commission.

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"I am looking at by the end of next week is when we will start looking at the next group of casinos we will be able to open,” he said. 

Casinos such as The Fitz will likely see the longest waits as two feet of water covers the establishment’s parking lot.

The nine casinos in total are expected to lose approximate $87 million, which is the average gross revenue for the month of May over past three years.  The good news is that few of the casinos suffered any significant physical damage.

MGM Resorts International used large-scale Aqua-Barrierâand Army Corps of Engineers-certified HESCOâbaskets to safeguard Gold Strike from the Mississippi River. Thirty five hundred linear feet of the 8 ft. high x 100 ft. long Aqua-Barriers - each filled with 90,000 gallons of rising floodwater- were used to successfully envelop the entire circumference of the main structure and outbuildings. HESCO baskets – wire mesh nets filled with gravel and interconnected like blocks – covered 2,000 linear feet and formed an additional line of defense around the facility.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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