|By Tom Wilemon, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jun. 11, 2005 - BILOXI -- Marlin Torguson unveiled plans Friday for a condominium-hotel that will be a part of the Bacaran Bay Casino Resort planned for Caillavet Street.
The Villas at Bacaran Bay will go immediately south of the previously announced 200-suite hotel and casino. Torguson Gaming Group Inc. hopes to break ground on the $500 million casino resort by late summer. It will include two wedding chapels, a 40-lane bowling alley, six restaurants, a health spa, a buffet, a shopping arcade, a 500-seat nightclub, convention space and six movie theaters with stadium-style seating.
Palmer's Run, an 18-hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer and owned by the resort, is being built within 10 minutes drive time.
Bacaran Bay will be the first casino to offer condominium-hotel lodging. All the 387 units with balcony terraces will have either one or two bedrooms. They come fully furnished and appointed.
"All you have to do is walk in the door with the clothes you're going to wear," Torguson said.
But leave the leashes behind. No pets will be allowed.
The condominiums range in size from 870 square feet to 1,657 square feet. Prices vary from $350,900 to $893,900. The reservation cost is $10,000.
The marketing agent for the condominiums is Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty Inc. Gillespie Title Co. will oversee the legal contracts and trust accounts.
Torguson said he's confident about the Coast market because of multiple condominium projects in the works and the ongoing expansion at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.
"We think that this is going to grow this market unbelievable in the next five to 10 years," Torguson said. "We want to be a part of it."
Other members of the development team are president and chief financial officer Bob Kocienski, vice president of marketing Jeana Tribble and director of sales Kim Melvin.
Torguson, the chief executive officer and founder of the privately held Torguson Gaming Group, said he plans to make it a publicly traded company. Torguson is the founder of Casino Magic. In the late 1980s he sold the Biloxi and Bay St. Louis casinos as well as properties in South Dakota, Greece and Argentina.
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