The Isle of Capri is reevaluating its
expansion plans in Biloxi and for its proposed Pine Hills Casino in
western Harrison County, said chief operating officer Virginia
McDowell said Friday that the company is beginning to develop
new master plans for the land it owns in Biloxi and for Pine Hills,
just off Interstate 10 in Harrison County.
"We want to develop and implement a master plan for the
company's Biloxi property," McDowell said, "which will help
ensure that our product will remain competitive in the market."
McDowell said it isn't the cost of insurance but the competitive
landscape and new management in Biloxi that prompted the Isle to
review the expansion plans. Much of the $435 million the company
plans to spend on capital projects for the fiscal year is tied to
rebuilding the Biloxi casino and moving forward with the West
Harrison project, she said.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. reported a 1.7 percent increase in
net revenues Thursday, to $278.5 million for the first quarter of
its fiscal year, from $274 million for the same period last year.
Last month, McDowell succeeded Timothy Hinkley as COO, She said
she has visited each of the Isle properties in the U.S. She came to
the company's first casino, the Isle of Capri Biloxi, for its 15th
anniversary celebration in August.
The company's three Mississippi casinos earned 20.1 percent of
its net revenue in the first fiscal quarter, which was down from
24.3 percent in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.
Bob Griffin, senior vice president of operations, said the Isle
is having to spend more in the aggressive Biloxi market to
advertise the casino, which is temporarily at the end of a
cul-de-sac on U.S. Highway 90. He said that expense could change