Margaritaville talks continue; re-zoning vote postponed again

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich this afternoon asked the Biloxi Planning Commission to once again postpone its vote on whether to re-zone waterfront land near the current Margaritaville resort, a change that could open the door to a $140 million expansion of the family oriented resort.

“We’re asking you to postpone this vote until your next meeting,” attorney Gerald Blessey said, speaking for Mayor Gilich. “We understand positive discussions are underway between the parties and the Secretary of State.”

The city is hoping, Gilich has said, that the Secretary of State, who oversees state tidelands, can work out a lease agreement with the Barrington Group, developers who have proposed an amusement park, hotel and convention facilities adjoining Margaritaville, which Barrington opened months ago to rave reviews.

The Secretary of State had counsel at the meeting, but none commented.

The Planning Commission’s next meeting is Nov. 17.

The Barrington Group estimates that the amusement park and hotel would attract more than a million new visitors a year, creating 700 new jobs and produce $2 million in new local and state sales taxes. Barrington already operates the White House Hotel, the current Margaritaville and has plans to transform the old Santa Maria retirement center in downtown into Watermark, an all-suites hotel, with a restaurant and lounge.
See photos from the Planning Commission meeting this afternoon
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