Exclusive Peek at the Harbor Casino Project!

The city of Gulfport was always beautiful. It was a place where tourist’s flocked at every opportunity to enjoy the beaches, the wonderful restaurants, and of course, outdoor sports and gaming. The city enjoyed great prosperity and was known as a premiere destination for vacationers and business people – Everyone wanted to be here, and when they came, they never wanted to leave. When hurricane Katrina arrived with all her fury in 2005, everything changed in the blink of an eye and we had to begin again. Every inch of our prized coastal real estate was decimated. It has been a long, arduous road and taken many years to rebuild and restore this area but Gulfport is well on it’s way to being even more extraordinary than it was before. Jake Vanderlei, the President and COO of Rotate Black, Inc. MS is most interested in investing in the city of Gulfport. His company is a Developer and Investor Group that has presented a proposal to build a land based casino/resort on the property adjacent to Hwy 49 and Hwy 90. For the past two years, Rotate Black, Inc. MS has been working diligently to see this project through to fruition. The City Council has approved the site and granted the necessary zoning for a gaming venue. The next step was to present the proposal for the site to the Gaming Commission and it too was approved by the Gaming Commission as a legal gaming site. The initial proposal was for an $83 million dollar harbor project which encompassed one hundred rooms, with just under 22,000 sq. feet of gaming space which would house 875 slot machines and 18 table games. In addition, there was a 300 seat buffet, a 100 seat steakhouse, and a small cafe. The Gaming Commision ultimately declined the proposal. It was a very disappointing result of years of hard work and planning.
Undaunted, Rotate Black, Inc. MS went back to the drawingboard and devised a new and different plan for their casino/resort project. They are currently meeting with Gaming Commission to present the new plans, and getting feedback about the new proposal. At this time, nothing has been decided but GTP has been granted permission to inform the public as to what may be the next new casino/resort at the corner of Hwy 49 and Hwy 90 should the Gaming Commission approve the latest proposal. Rotate Black, Inc. MS has partnered with the Ernest Hemmingway family. The Hemmingway family has begun to open 4 and 5 Star hotel chains throughout the world. The city of Gulfport has been selected to be one of their premiere locations for a Hemmingway property.
The new proposal is nothing short of spectacular. The size of the casino has been greatly increased, as is the number of hotel rooms. This casino/resort property will be so exclusive that no matter what a guest may request or desire during their stay, it will be done. “If you find that the bed was the most comfortable one you ever slept on and you had the most restfull sleep you have ever had, a guest need only ask and we will be happy to make the purchase for them direct from the factory and the bed will be shipped directly to the guest’s residence overnight,” Vanderlei said. “The level of service and personal attention will exceed any and all expectations,” he added. The decor will exemplify the elegant and classic taste of the Hemmingway’s; rich dark wood and presidential elements throughout, it will absolutely be the grandest casino/resort on the Gulf Coast.
An outdoor pool will face the harbor for a magnificent view of the Gulf. Waterfalls will grace the outdoor oasis and cabanas will also be available. Never done before on the Coast, a fully appointed outdoor Spa will pamper guests even more with pool side massages. The amenities of this magnificent property will surpass anything currently available on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You will be enveloped total luxury and sophistication, and enjoy the very finest accomodations anywhere. The casino will also be extraordinary. If the Gaming Commission approves the latest Rotate Black, Inc. MS proposal, this harbor project will begin construction almost immediately. The projected time frame from start to finish is expected to be thirteen months. “As soon as we receive approval, we are ready to go,” Vanderlei said.
Although in negotiations with other brands as well, the Hemmingway family partnership is what Rotate Black, Inc. MS wants most of all. “We worked very hard with the City Council and are grateful for their guidance. We made it a point to tie in the look and feel of the exterior and the architecture with the Gulfport harbor and the new downtown redevelopment. We are also proposing somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 full time jobs. Some of the land is leased through the city which will also mean about $3 million a year in additional revenue through taxes and lease payments,” Vanderlei said.
As is customary for casinos on the Gulf Coast to be very charitable and involved with community organizations in the area, the Rotate Black, Inc. MS casino/resort will follow suit. Jake Vanderlei was the Vice President of Gaming for the Beau Rivage Casino Resort for ten years. The Beau Rivage executives and employees have always been champions in giving back to the community and rising to the occasion when people are in need. “We will be very strong in philanthropic pursuits and volunteer work and I will personally be very involved with serving on local Boards. We will be a major pillar within the community,” Vanderlei said.
The primary investors are Wells Fargo/Brigade Capital who are one of the leaders in new construction gaming projects in the United States. They are backing Rotate Black, Inc. MS one hundred percent and have remained solidly committed throughout this entire process. The equity investors are Gulfport Gaming, LLC who also stand firm in their commitment to the Harbor Casino Project. Known as one of the leading construction firms in the South, Yates Anderson Construction has agreed to build the Harbor Casino Project. “Ours will be the first casino built by them as a joint venture which is very exciting,” Vanderlei said. The Architectural firm is Ely Guild Hardy. “They have done a remarkable job in keeping with the harbor theme, and of course they were also the architects for the new Jones Park which will be next door to us,” he added.
This has not been an easy process for Rotate Black, Inc. MS. “We have been working with the Gaming Commission for almost two years and we believe that they expect a product that will grow and expand the market in South Mississippi. We are working our hardest and doing our utmost to please them and get the approval we need to proceed. We have provided them with all our plans and they have everything they need to make a decision, so now we must wait,” Vanderlei said.
The Harbor Project will be a gorgeous addition to the Gulfport landscape and bring even more prosperity to the area. Hopefully the plans will be approved so Rotate Black, Inc. MS won’t take their business elsewhere.

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