As Jimmy Buffett’s song verse goes, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Fittingly, at 5 o’clock on Thursday, June 23, the Margaritaville Resort Biloxi opened to the public, with decor and restaurants inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Pascagoula-born Buffet. “Developer Cono Caranna said, “It’s been a long two years” transforming the former Casino Magic property, closed since Hurricane Katrina. A grand opening will be held later.
There’s no casino on the property, billed as the largest family entertainment center on the Gulf Coast. Features include an indoor zip line roller coaster, a ropes course, the Highway 66 bowling lanes and a 40-foot volcano rock-climbing wall with a door in the floor of the Margaritaville Cafe above it. The water park is reserved for hotel guests.
A main attraction is Escape, a 55,000 square foot family arcade with electronic Yahtzee, air hockey, skee-ball and the world’s largest Pac-Man game. Many games are projected directly onto the floor. Golf simulators let players try the world’s most challenging holes, and switch to soccer and other sports. Escape players can collect tickets to redeem for prizes at the Margaritaville store.
Besides the Margaritaville-themed restaurants, the property offers Doe’s Eat Place famed hot tamales, plus bars throughout the resort.
Biloxi Councilman George Lawrence stated, “This is going to be tremendous for the city of Biloxi. Everybody’s having a great time.”