|By Tom Wilemon, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jun. 30, 2005 - BILOXI - The landmark Broadwater Hotel, which was the Coast's premier resort in its heyday, will shut its doors for good on Sunday.
The new owners of the hotel have applied for a demolition permit, but the city of Biloxi had not issued one as of Friday afternoon. Roy Anderson III, who owns the property with W.C. "Cotton" Fore, said the structure probably won't be demolished until later this year or early next year. A lifestyle mall, an open-air configuration of upscale specialty stores, is proposed for the site.
Anderson and Fore's company, Broadwater Development LLP, plan to sell the 38 acres occupied by the hotel and its cottages to an Atlanta company that specializes in retail development. The two Coast businessmen own the entire 240-acre Broadwater Resort, including its golf course and marina. They purchased the property in a bankruptcy auction.
The President Casino, which will be moved to Hancock County next year, will continue to operate. Nor is the Broadwater Tower, which has different ownership, closing at the present time. But the Tower hotel, built many years after the original Broadwater opened, will also be demolished to make way for a high-rise condominium.
Many Biloxians have fond memories of the Broadwater Beach Hotel, which opened in 1939. Its first owner was Pete Martin Sr., a legendary Coast gambler and rum runner, who operated a casino in the hotel when gambling was illegal. Joe Brown, a Texan who had made millions in the oil business, bought the property in 1958. When he died, his widow, Dorothy Brown, upgraded the property. She hired architects to give it a modern look, had the marina built and developed golf packages to attract tourists.
Over the last decade, the hotel faded from its former glory. Its last owner, President Casinos Inc., made no major improvements to the property as other casino companies built new hotels along the Coast. President Casinos had to sell its two casinos in Biloxi and St. Louis after filing for bankruptcy.
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Copyright (c) 2005, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.
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