New casino opens in Vicksburg as flood waters recede - - Jackson, MS

New casino opens in Vicksburg as flood waters recede

There was a new place to play in Vicksburg.  Despite lingering flood waters, Grand Station was open for business Thursday. Curious customers were flocking to the downtown Vicksburg location.

"The tourism here is important so I'm glad it is open," said first time visitor and Brandon resident David McClung.

There were three floors of gaming at Grand Station along with a fine dining restaurant, buffet and a sports bar.

"I hope a lot of people come out and at least try us.  See what is new, what is different. We have some of the newest games, live poker, a lot of things people have waited for in this area," said Grand Station Marketing Manager Cheryl Good.

The boat, which used to house Horizon Casino, closed in March for remodeling.  It did not sustain damage from the rising flood waters, but it did delay the opening and caused some headaches maneuvering over 700 slot machines.

"It made it a little bit difficult because as the casino rose with the rising flood water it made it harder to roll equipment onto the boat," said Grand Station General Manager Stacy Walker.

The flood had forced the closure of Diamond Jacks and Rainbow Casinos.  Riverwalk and Ameristar stayed open, but lost revenue.  Meanwhile, Grand Station hired 200 new employees to round out their team of 350.

"As we expand we are also able to expand our employee workforce," said Walker. "That's the good thing on the flood event of 2011, we were able to open and get people back to work."

It was a first sign of Vicksburg coming back stronger after the flood.

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