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Harrison Co. planners OK casino plans

A local planning commission has approved plans for a 50-acre casino site, the first outside an incorporated area of Harrison County.

The Harrison County Planning Commission approval came Thursday.

The proposed $300 million Pine Hills Isle of Capri Casino would be located on the Bay of St. Louis, border on Kiln-DeLisle Road and lie just south of Interstate 10.

The developers previously estimated completing the resort by December 2008.

“We’d like to break ground this year if at all possible,” Richard Meister, vice president of construction and design for Isle of Capri Casinos, said Thursday.

Meister said plans are for a casino with about 94,000 square feet; a 509-room, 320 foot-high hotel tower; pool and recreation facilities; and a convention area.

“You will be able to see the top of the tower from Interstate 10,” Meister said.

In June, the Mississippi Gaming Commission ruled the proposed location was a legal gambling site.

The casino is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

Isle of Capri is locating the complex on land it is leasing for 99 years from private owners. Meister said the company has also agreed to provide fire and safety routes and build a dedicated access road from Kiln-DeLisle Road to the site.