Grand’s Island View Hotel collapses as planned

Grand Casino’s 12-story Island View Hotel on the east Biloxi waterfront was reduced to a mound of rubble this morning after Mayor A.J. Holloway pressed two buttons to trigger the implosion of the Casino Row structure.

Several hundred onlookers who had gathered on the beach just west of Casino Row hollered and applauded after the few seconds it took for the 150-foot tall building to tumble. Workers with Cherry Demolition and Dykon Explosive Demolition Corp. said the implosion occurred in the intended sequence, with the center section of the hotel collapsing before its northern and southern sections fell inward a fraction of a second later.

Onlookers standing more than 100 yards west of the hotel felt the ground tremble as explosive charges detonated inside the building. Seconds later, a cloud of dust lingered over the pile of rubble.

Longtime Biloxians witnessing the Island View implosion reminisced about the demolition of the Edgewater Hotel in west Biloxi decades ago. A second explosion was needed before that structure came tumbling down.

That was not the case this morning.

“The real story is not so much about this building coming down,” Holloway told media members who began gathering at daybreak this morning on Casino Row. “The story is what’s going to be coming up here,” a reference to Harrah’s Entertainment plans for a $1 billion resort on the site.

To see a video clip of the implosion, click here.