Biloxi Yacht Club Sold to Las Vegas Strip Club Tycoon Who Bought Margaritaville Casino

Posted on: January 26, 2024, 01:48h. 

Last updated on: January 27, 2024, 11:28h.

The Biloxi Yacht Club has a new owner as of last fall, the Biloxi Sun Herald reports.

Biloxi Margaritaville casino strip club
The Biloxi Yacht Club has been sold to the same businessman who last year purchased the former Margaritaville Casino. Harry Mohney hasn’t yet divulged his plans for the yacht facility. (Image: MLS)

Last August, Harry Mohney, the Las Vegas businessman best known for his Strip clubs, acquired the shuttered Margaritaville Casino on the Biloxi Back Bay for an undisclosed price. Mohney, whose Déjà Vu, Inc. operates nearly 200 strip clubs in the US, UK, Australia, France, Canada, and Mexico, wasn’t finished buying Biloxi real estate with the Margaritaville property.

Mohney, the Sun Herald reported, also purchased the Biloxi Yacht Club in a deal that closed around Thanksgiving. A Biloxi institution dating back to the mid-1800s and one of the oldest sailing clubs in the country, the Yacht Club is shopping for a more protected waterfront property.

The organization has faced costly repairs from damages caused by Gulf coastal storms. The Yacht Club built the current facility located at Beach Blvd. and Kuhn St. after Hurricane Katrina leveled its previous home.

Biloxi Strip Club?

Biloxi is the heartbeat of the Mississippi gaming industry. The city’s eight casinos are grouped into the state’s “Coastal” property segment with four other casinos, including the Silver Slipper and Hollywood in Bay St. Louis, Island View in Gulfport, and Scarlet Pearl in D’Iberville.

The Coastal casinos last year accounted for nearly $1.59 billion of the $2.48 billion that Mississippi casinos won statewide. Biloxi is a major gaming destination for Southerners and Midwest residents, but the town is lacking a premier gentlemen’s club, something many gamblers fancy.

Mohney’s Margaritaville building would presumably qualify for adult entertainment. Mississippi statutes prohibit strip clubs “where public displays of nudity are present” within one-fourth of a mile of any church, school, kindergarten, or courthouse.

Margaritaville’s nearest church, school, kindergarten, or courthouse is the Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation along Oak St. The church is 1,600 feet from the Margaritaville property or a little more than 0.3 miles away.

Yacht Club Leasing Property

Biloxi Yacht Club officials say Mohney agreed to lease the property to the group for just a dollar a month until he determines what to do with his newly acquired asset. The club is responsible for the upkeep of the facility and paying its insurance premiums.

Mohney’s attorney, Britt Singletary, said the current focus is redeveloping the Margaritaville property.

Margaritaville opened in 2012 but closed a little more than two years later, in September 2014, because of a dispute between the casino operator and the landlord. The quarrel prevented the planned on-site 250-room hotel from being built.

An Arizona-based gaming and hospitality company called RAM Group acquired the Back Bay property in 2019 with plans to invest $200 million to open a casino and resort on the approximately 10-acre site. RAM brought on rock legends KISS to brand the destination the Rock & Brews Casino.

The COVID-19 pandemic drowned those plans. The property was listed for sale again, with Mohney emerging as the buyer.

Reports surfaced after the real estate transaction closed that Mohney would seek to redevelop the Margaritaville Casino into a mixed-use retail and dining destination.

Along with his many strip clubs, Mohney’s business empire includes The World Famous Cat’s Meow karaoke venues. Mohney previously held an ownership stake in the Dick’s Last Resort restaurant chain, but he recently divested the position.