The Margaritaville Casino is probably going to go out of business soon....

Posted in the Long Beach Forum

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Gulf

Moss Point, MS

#1 Jul 22, 2012
This is going to turn out to be a HUGE boondoggle. It never should have been approved in the first place. Gambling revenue on both the coast & throughout the state never got back up to 2007 levels, even adjusting for inflation. The only reason claimed by the State Gaming Commission as to why the casino was approved was because it was supposed to bring Buffett fans to the area. That worked the first few weeks & then the casino literally collapsed in on itself.

I was there about 2 or 3 weeks ago & it looked so-so filled to me but nothing impressive. I know a few ppl who work(or worked I should say) there & they've all quit in the past few days or weeks because nobody's getting tips, they give the good shifts to the connected ppl who know the management, & they won't give you full time status & won't work with you around your schedule if you have another job.

They supposedly owe Budweiser a lot of money because of that Bud truck that's been sitting out there & they can't pay. So they're not paying their suppliers & they've been cutting power in parts of the casino to 'save money.'

They don't even have enough revenue to keep the lights on & modest-sized staff departures. This can't be good. I dunno why they approved it but it was never really viable without a casino & its hard to find & way out of the way.(I took the trolley thing to it)

Man this is terrible. Ppl really need jobs. If this casino closes I hope they fire the idiots @ the gaming commission who approved a project that never should have been approved.
Gulf

Moss Point, MS

#2 Jul 22, 2012
above i mean 'viable without a casino hotel.', so there's the correction.1905

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#3 Jul 23, 2012
JB will need to show up "unannounced" frequently to make it successful.
True Coastian

Biloxi, MS

#4 Jul 24, 2012
it's my understanding that they are receiving incentive money from the state for employee pay. Thats why they hired more than twice the employees that the Palace has. These incentives end in October, expect massive layoffs then!
Biloxi

Moss Point, MS

#5 Jul 25, 2012
True Coastian wrote:
it's my understanding that they are receiving incentive money from the state for employee pay. Thats why they hired more than twice the employees that the Palace has. These incentives end in October, expect massive layoffs then!
I was told that they were cutting hours bad & arranging shifts to where nobody could get overtime or any kind of benefits. I dunno what the 'good shifts' are but I was told by more than one person that the ppl who 'are in' or who know/are related to the managers were getting all the good shifts while the regular ppl were getting garbage.

My one contact made about 10 bucks in tips for a 12 hr shift because the waiters & bartenders were 'topheavying' their tipload & claiming less than they were really getting. Nobody tipped after the Buffett concert. During the Buffett concert all the VIPs were there throwing cash around. I was there in early June, it looked decent enough but all the ppl I was talking with who worked there told me the same thing -- nobody was getting tips.

I was told that in the last week or 2 there was a major staff departure & they were having trouble getting ppl to work shifts because nobody was tipping anything.

Sad, it shouldn't have been built, its way off way out of the way. Besides the economy & gaming revenue not coming back to 07 levels, New Orleans still has over 100k ppl who never came back & the coast has over 10-20k who never came back after the storm. And on top of that cities like New Orleans & Shreveport & Lake Charles are all building casinos on top of all the million Indian casinos there are -- there's too much competition now its just drowning out the region.
Govt Street Denizen

Mobile, AL

#6 Jul 26, 2012
Regarding the tips being low. Perhaps so. But one way that might contribute to that is the place just isn't welcoming. My experience: Hard to find. Parking lot next to a construction site (not very good first impression). Closest parking spots reserved for management not guests. Long restaurant wait though there were empty tables. Staff clueless about the amenities of the place.

Now, before someone jumps my case, I'm not blaming the servers. I do blame management however. I've only been once, and that was shortly after opening. It was amateurish at best. Perhaps they have gotten better now that they have been open a while. I'll probably try once more just for the heck of it, but with so many options, two strikes and you'll be out.
Biloxi

Moss Point, MS

#7 Jul 26, 2012
Govt Street Denizen wrote:
Regarding the tips being low. Perhaps so. But one way that might contribute to that is the place just isn't welcoming. My experience: Hard to find. Parking lot next to a construction site (not very good first impression). Closest parking spots reserved for management not guests. Long restaurant wait though there were empty tables. Staff clueless about the amenities of the place.
Now, before someone jumps my case, I'm not blaming the servers. I do blame management however. I've only been once, and that was shortly after opening. It was amateurish at best. Perhaps they have gotten better now that they have been open a while. I'll probably try once more just for the heck of it, but with so many options, two strikes and you'll be out.
Well that sorta works itself into a cycle -- you don't tip you get bad service, you get bad service, you don't tip & then it devolves from there but I agree -- management has its head up its ass. I dunno why they built it. The casinos we already have need to get their revenue up before they let in any more casinos. Then Diamondhead wants one, Bay St Louis wants another one & now they're building @ least another one in Gulfport -- they're gonna bleed out the market. Then they've got Indian casinos in Laurel & in Atmore Alabama & in Louisiana. Got em in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Lake Charles & Shreveport.

I think our market is near over-saturation & has peaked, its probably downhill from here. I mean heck the regional ppl can only go to so many places. In this miserable state alone they have 6 different options: Choctaws, coast, Tunica, Greenville, Natchez, & Vicksburg. Then they have New Orleans, Creeks, Shreveport, Baton Rouge -- why gamble in Biloxi if you can get the same thing on the rivers?
Shame Shame

Ocean Springs, MS

#8 Jul 26, 2012
I've only been once, ate at the buffet, mediocre at best. Dropped 40 dollars in a one armed bandit in a blink of an eye

I think once winter gets here it will be slim pickings and with no hotel, Slim will have left the building.
It Sucks

Columbus, MS

#9 Jul 31, 2012
As a former employee of Mville, I can say first hand
everything posted above in regards to tips, business & poor management is TRUE. I was cocktailing there & the tips were awful. Every shift was way over staffed, even if the business was semi decent, there's no way you could make money because too many people were working also. I'd show up to work and get cut after 2 hours because business was dead.
It's a terrible shame. They opened too early & have placed people with no sense in high positions. If it keeps at the rate it's been I can't see it surviving.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Jul 31, 2012
agreed. too bad
Gulf

Moss Point, MS

#11 Aug 1, 2012
It Sucks wrote:
As a former employee of Mville, I can say first hand
everything posted above in regards to tips, business & poor management is TRUE. I was cocktailing there & the tips were awful. Every shift was way over staffed, even if the business was semi decent, there's no way you could make money because too many people were working also. I'd show up to work and get cut after 2 hours because business was dead.
It's a terrible shame. They opened too early & have placed people with no sense in high positions. If it keeps at the rate it's been I can't see it surviving.
See I was told they owed Budweiser tens of thousands for that beer truck. They were making it dark in parts of the casino 'to save power' & were doing all these things that you normally see from a company heading into insolvency.

Its sad really, I know somebody who turned down a job there because the hours they were supposed to work were horrible, 5 hour shifts, not even worth getting out of bed for. Guess they did overhire.

Now Gulfport & D'Iberville both are getting new casinos in the coming 2 to 3 years. We're gonna suffocate our own market. I imagine the IP & the Beau will be the only 2 really profitable ones once the smoke clears.
Gulf

Moss Point, MS

#12 Aug 12, 2012
Anybody know what happened to the girl who fell?

Can't be good for Margarita -- I smell a multimillion dollar lawsuit....that place'll be shut down before the end of next year.
It Sucks

Columbus, MS

#13 Aug 22, 2012
The girl is still in the hospital.
She performed on the hook and there was
a fault with the clip that secured her.
She fell somewhere between 15 - 30 ft...
the information varies there.

I heard the family isn't suing, but I think
they should.. I heard the young lady is ok
physically, but with a fractured skull she
is facing some degree of brain damage. Hopefully
she can be rehabilitated. It's a tragic thing
to happen, I wish her well.

Margaritaville... not looking good. Worse
by the day
Minotaur

Tucson, AZ

#14 Aug 24, 2012
I see forums dedicated to critiqueing Fine Dining. I see forums covering interests such as art, entertainment, Movies and cultural pursuits of depth and meaning. Here on the Coast we have 'Street', an acknowledged expert on Bar ambiance.This lounge lizard has spent a lifetime on a bar-stool sharpening his perceptions of what makes for a sucessful juke-joint. Which is what a casino basically is. 'Govt Street Denizen', Street for short, is well qualified to critique a smoke filled Honky-Tonk, if nothing else.
Minotaur

Tucson, AZ

#15 Aug 25, 2012
Govt Street Denizen wrote:
Regarding the tips being low. Perhaps so. But one way that might contribute to that is the place just isn't welcoming. My experience: Hard to find. Parking lot next to a construction site (not very good first impression). Closest parking spots reserved for management not guests. Long restaurant wait though there were empty tables. Staff clueless about the amenities of the place.
Now, before someone jumps my case, I'm not blaming the servers. I do blame management however. I've only been once, and that was shortly after opening. It was amateurish at best. Perhaps they have gotten better now that they have been open a while. I'll probably try once more just for the heck of it, but with so many options, two strikes and you'll be out.
A very well written critique. Street (May I call you Street?) this just goes to show that you are indeed one of the Premier Bar-Flies on the Coast. Well qualified to judge not only Juke Joints and Honky Tonks but Casinos' also. Those years on a barstool broadening not only your ass but your knowledge of Bar Ambiance have been well spent. We are relieved to hear from you again, your ex said you had been popping Viagra like Skittles, then finding a dark corner of one of the Strip Clubs to hide out in. Keep it up Street!
Coast Care Giver

Biloxi, MS

#16 Aug 31, 2012
Karen Sock shown the door, " Whoop There It Is "
O S DOG

Ocean Springs, MS

#17 Sep 1, 2012
Thank God they got her out of there. She was a terrible choice to be the "face" of this casino on TV.All of her previous experiance did not help. She came from the Grand which has always been terrible.Good bye bud eyes!!!
Coast Care Giver

Biloxi, MS

#18 Sep 1, 2012
Guess the old Grand Casino ploy " we stand on soft 17" didnt work out too well!
whatsgoingonhere

Ocean Springs, MS

#19 Sep 2, 2012
First reading this thread I was kinda curious was there any truth to it, now I see with the departure of Mrs Sock that indeed it probably is, wonder how long it will be before the property is vacant and once again we on the coast end up losing in the employment game. Thought this casino was supposed to bring so many jobs and get so many off unemployment? Looks like they came in and fired quicker than they hired.
Gulf

Moss Point, MS

#21 Sep 2, 2012
This comment from that WLOX article sums the situation up quite nicely:

"I think Mrs. Sock did all she could do for Margaritaville, and now its time to move on.The no comps and free play have hurt the place.Players like to think they are getting something for the money they spend. The buffet is small, but the food is fresh, and very good.JB made millions years ago, and could care less about the Gulf Coast. If he was so concerned about us he would spend more time here, and interact with the locals. Good luck Mrs. Sock- you did the best that you could do."

Couldn't agree more. Its like what I was saying -- the smart ppl who get money around here -- leave. They go to Florida, like Jimmy did, or Atlanta or Hawaii or California or Texas or some place with better shores. Jimmy made his money years ago & hauled ass & hasn't been back since in the way we think of 'being back.' He'll drop in 2 or 3 times a year to New Orleans or Biloxi or Mobile or Pensacola to do a concert or visit old buddies or family but that's about it. I read he has a big mansion down on the beach near Miami someplace. Imagine he has homes in places like Hawaii & the Bahamas too.

I think its a combination of terrible weather, bad luck(Katrina), a mooching, sponging state govt who milks us down here on the coast for all we're worth(we provide 40% of all tax revenue on the state level and yet we are only about 10% of the state population), over-saturation of the casino market, allowed by corrupt state gambling regulators, who probably take under-the-table-bribes for allowing all these new casinos when they know the market can't handle it. And just an over-reliance on tourism as a means to prop up the economy.

When what's left of the BP money runs out we'll be just as exposed as before. We saw it recently w/Waveland having propped up their city budgets with federal & BP money.

Now that that's gone, the city's gone too. The gaming market in Biloxi is becoming dangerously over-saturated, & I doubt it's gonna get any better from here on out. Do yourself a favor & leave this region while there's still time.

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