Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Resuming Hotel Renovation Postponed by Pandemic

Posted on: January 31, 2022, 09:39h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2022, 09:42h.

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is restarting the makeover of its more than 1,700 hotel guestrooms. The renovations were originally put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beau Rivage Mississippi casino MGM Resorts
Brandon Dardeau stands in front of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Mississippi. The MGM Resorts executive says work to update the casino’s guestrooms has begun. (Image: The Sun Herald)

MGM Resorts earlier this month appointed Brandon Dardeau as its new president and chief operating officer of its Southeast Operations division. In the role, Dardeau, a longtime MGM employee who began his career in the reservations call center two decades ago, will oversee both of MGM’s destinations in Mississippi — Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Resort.

Beau Rivage is located on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi. Gold Strike is in the northwestern part of the state on the Mississippi River in Tunica Resorts.

Speaking recently with The Sun Herald, Dardeau says the halted hotel renovation at Beau Rivage is back on. The MGM exec explains that the guestrooms will feature “Southern flair” paired with Biloxi décor and color patterns, including sand, turquoise, and other beachy tones.

Dardeau adds that Beau Rivage hotel guests will find the same luxurious room features as MGM guests staying at the more famous Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. That includes everything from the same bed mattresses to a mobile app that allows visitors to unlock and open their room doors and set the temperature.

Southern Charm

Dardeau was part of a regional executive reshuffling announced by MGM Resorts in early 2022. He replaced Travis Lunn, who departed for Atlantic City to run MGM’s Borgata. Melonie Johnson left the Borgata to return to MGM National Harbor outside DC in Maryland.

Now in charge of Mississippi’s two largest hotels, Dardeau says the key to keeping Beau Rivage’s 1,792 rooms and Gold Strike’s 1,133 rooms occupied is bringing in visitors from outside the state. The MGM regional president says Beau Rivage utilizes MGM Resorts’ vast national customer database to lure gamblers who typically patronize Las Vegas or Atlantic City south to the Gulf Coast.

Dardeau says the unrivaled views of the Gulf of Mexico and unparalleled customer service often result in return visits. “Beau Rivage” is French for “Beautiful shore.”

Our service scores are the highest in the company,” Dardeau brags.

The MGM exec is also boastful of Beau Rivage and Gold Strike’s ability to maintain its workforce. Dardeau reports that approximately 10 percent of the casino’s 1,835 employees have been there from the start. Beau Rivage opened in 1999.

“We don’t just offer jobs,” he stated. “We offer careers.”

Mississippi Gaming Revenue

2021 was a prosperous year for Mississippi casinos. The 26 gaming floors combined to win roughly $2.67 billion. Casino gaming generated more than $1.6 billion in tax revenue.

Last year was a much-needed relief from business interruptions in 2020 caused by the coronavirus. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2020 totaled just $1.8 billion, which was the lowest win since 1995.

The all-time best GGR year for Mississippi casinos was experienced in 2012, when the properties won more than $2.72 billion.

Mississippi casinos are hoping to join the sports betting crowd in 2022 and generate additional revenue. Legal sportsbooks are operational in three of Mississippi’s four neighboring states — Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Only Alabama continues to prohibit such gambling.