Month: September 2010


Hello Everyone!  As I write to you all, the rain has been pouring down for days, with no relief in sight. Happily, the oppressive temperatures are starting to come down, and football season is about to begin…Life Is Good!
In this issue of GTP we examine what makes our Coast Casino industry tick. Meet Brad Rhines, Vice President of Marketing and Gaming for the IP.  We also visit with the extremely talented, in house horticulturist for the Beau Rivage, and learn about her very unique job. The Isle Casino Hotel Biloxi just celebrated their 18th Anniversary!  Find out how it all began in our September Cover story.
Biloxi icon, The Upstairs Downstairs is celebrating as well – 33 years in business in South Mississippi! Read all about the rich and wonderful history of this Coast treasure. And Taste Buds will introduce you to Lil Italy in D’Iberville, where you can dash in and dash out for authentic, home made Italian fare.
All this…and so much more
Nancy Marchbanks
Executive Editor

This Month in History Sept

September 1
World War II Begins
In 1939, World War II began when Germany invaded Poland. In May of that year, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini had signed the”Pact of Steel,” promising mutual aid in case of war. In August, Hitler reached an agreement with Russia that contained an agreement to divide Poland. This Nazi-Soviet pact was Hitler’s green light for the invasion of Poland, which occurred at dawn on September 1. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. (more…)

Simple Fitness Tips

By: Dawn Mattina

Today, people are so busy and our lives are at a fevered pitch most of the time. You wonder,  how could it be possible to schedule regular exercise and fitness into an already overwhelming schedule? Fitness, like anything else, is about strategy and logistics. It is also a state of mind. When the mind and body are well cared for, they work in unison and productivity is at its best. Here are some great fitness tips that will help you stay on course with a regular exercise plan. You will feel better, have more energy, and always be at the top of your game.Set GoalsGoals provide direction and motivation. (more…)

Upstairs Down Stairs, 33 Years and Still Going Strong


Picture yourself living on “The Point” in Biloxi in 1977. Elvis is still the king and casinos didn’t exist in this quiet little southern fishing town. When the work day was done, and the sun seemed to sink into Gulf; everyone searched for excitement and yearned to hear the sounds of a live band playing in the night.  The Mattina brothers were paying close attention and decided to open a new club…actually two clubs in one!  The Downstairs came to be in September of 1977, and on New Years eve, The Upstairs opened it’s doors for business as well. Downtown Biloxi would never be the same. Glenn Mattina, Sr. and his brother Nick, worked hard to make their dream of a really high-class nightclub come into being. The building they chose was already rife with history from 1909 on. The concept was to have 2 clubs in one. The Upstairs opened with ‘Biloxi Packing Company’ taking the stage with Dave Duddley at the helm. Locals and military flocked onto the dance floor and the ‘joint was jumpin’ until the wee hours of the morning. Every week there was a new band slated to play. (more…)

The Importance of Estate Planning

By: Dawn Mattina

No one likes to think about it, but at some point, death will come to us all. When we pass away, we will undoubtedly leave family and loved ones behind. It is extremely important to have some sort of estate planning in place well in advance, and before the people you care about most, are in need of it.  Regardless of your net worth – whether it is a few hundred dollars or in the  millions – you need an estate plan to make sure your loved ones are taken care of and protected in the event of your death. (more…)


By: Nancy Marchbanks

This wonderful event has happened here on the Coast, four times before. The first home was given away in early 2000, and the last house was presented in June of 2005. Due to the after math of hurricane Katrina,  the representatives of St. Jude were forced to wait to continue until the area had healed, and the right partners could be found to make it all come together. The first folks to step up to the plate were the Developers of Tradition in Gulfport. They very generously donated a lot where the house would be built. The fine people at Westin Homes also wanted to be a part of the new St. Jude Dream House Giveaway, and offered to build the house.  The two companies were a match made in heaven, and everything fell perfectly into place. (more…)

Isle Casino Hotel – Biloxi

By: Nancy Marchbanks

On August 1st, the Isle Casino Hotel Biloxi celebrated a very special milestone. They had succeeded in business for 18 years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Isle was founded by Mr. Bernard Goldstein. He is known as the Father of Riverboat Gaming. It all began with the launch of the first casino riverboat in 1991, in Iowa. During the late 1980’s, America was in economic turmoil…not unlike what we are experiencing today. River towns were struggling because industry was leaving, which caused people to lose jobs at an alarming rate. The state of Iowa was working diligently to find a way to utilize riverfront property which would prove to be the catalyst for riverfront gaming. When Iowa passed legislation to allow riverfront gaming, soon several other states wanted a piece of the very lucrative pie…Mississippi was one of the first. (more…)