City gauges interest in downtown sites

The City of Biloxi is testing the waters to see if developers are interested in prime city-owned downtown properties: the Magnolia Hotel and an adjoining public parking area, the Creole Cottage, and the large tract of land across the street from Biloxi City Hall.

The city is seeking proposals through June 6 for each of the three sites, although the city is not bound to follow through on any offers. The idea of bringing new life to under-used city properties, especially downtown, is not new: Months ago, the city entered into a lease agreement that saw the creation of two dozen jobs and a new downtown eatery with the  Le Cafe Beignet shop opening in the city-owned former Biloxi Public Library on Lameuse Street.

“We’re anticipating a great deal of interest in downtown Biloxi with all of the public improvements underway and private investment in the works,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said, “and what we want to do is to let the development community know that we would entertain proposals for these sites. Since these are special sites, it would have to be a special proposal to get our attention.”

Among the criteria that would be considered by the city would be the lease price and whether the proposed use of the property “would foster and promote the development of the community and the civic, social, educational, cultural, moral, economic or industrial welfare” of the city.

How to see the RFPs: The complete Request for Proposals for the three sites, including descriptions and submission forms, are in the city’s online Plans Room. To visit the online Plans Room, where interested firms or individuals must register for free, go to


By city’s count, casino industry posts largest month of year

Biloxi’s casino market in March posted its best month of the six-month-old fiscal year, taking in $75 million from gamblers, according to figures released by the city’s Finance Division.

The number is $13 million off the March 2017 figure, but it is keeping pace with the more than $400 million in gross gaming revenue this time last fiscal year.

The city’s Finance Division has tracked gaming revenue, the city’s largest income stream, each month for 26 years, dating back to August 1992 when the first legal casino opened in Biloxi. The Finance Division tallies gross gaming revenue by calendar month, and the division also creates a report based on the state’s monthly gaming-revenue payment to the city, which does not follow a true month.

Here’s a breakdown on the gaming taxes paid by the Biloxi casino market since August 1992:

Total gross gaming revenue: $18.9 billion

Taxes paid on gross gaming revenue: $2.3 billion

To State of Mississippi: $1.51 billion

To City of Biloxi: $445.8 million

To Harrison County: $172.9 million

To Biloxi Public Schools: $121.4 million

To Harrison County schools: $60.7 million
See the taxing formula for gaming revenue
See where the money has gone, by month
See Biloxi market – by calendar month
See the history of gaming in Biloxi