Katrina Damage Means More Business for Tunica - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Katrina Damage Means More Business for Tunica

People looking for hotel rooms in Tunica, it's a common sight these days at the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sandy Borg and her husband are among a growing group coming to Tunica now that Gulf Coast Casinos are closed, "We used to go to Biloxi and Gulf Port cause it's closer, this is just a little farther away." Since Katrina slammed into Coast Casinos, Tunica Casinos have been seeing an marked increase in business. Webster Franklin heads up the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau, "We have an additional 30,000 room nights booked over the next 8 months in convention business that we would otherwise not have, that would have gone to the Gulf Coast." Franklin says much work has been done to make sure tourists and conventions don't leave the state, "We've been working over the past 30 days with those properties to relocate those conventions here and keep that business in Mississippi." Franklin says casinos pay a 12 percent tax on their earnings, four percent of which goes back into the local economy and then there's the side businesses, "Spending the night in your hotel rooms, eating at your restaurants, buying clothes at the factory outlet mall, visiting the shops downtown. It's good for the overall economy." Growth in an area that helped house Katrina evacuees and is now getting back to business. Some Gulf casino workers are heading to Tunica too. Hollywood Casino has hired 18 people from Gulf Coast casinos that are now closed.
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