Scanning the skyline across Bossier-Shreveport, one would undoubtedly notice the newest addition to the horizon. The rise of the more than $195 million Margaritaville Resort Casino has taken over the view from all corners of the area.
"You can see it and it's neat coming over on Interstate 20 or the Texas Street bridge," said William Trotter, one of the developers for the project.
Trotter painted the picture of how this casino would transform the vision of gaming in the Ark-La-Tex.
"There will be a neon sign that's on all four sides of the building that you can see from I-20, I-220, and downtown."
KSLA News 12 was given exclusive access to the construction site. On the 16th floor we could see the transformation of the project for ourselves. Glenn Buxton, Vice President of Marketing for Margaritaville Casino, pointed out some of the special features that are hidden behind metal and steel.
"All four corners of the building will be our suites," said Buxton. "They have the best view of all. Each one of them will have a 180 view and then the one on the top floor will have a 360 degree view."
After climbing another three flights of make-shift stairs, we were on the top floor taking in the view. There was nothing but tree tops as far as the eye could see, a backdrop of downtown, and the Boardwalk along the Red River.
We stood alongside crew members who were busy laying out the final pieces of what would become the 18th floor. Down below we could see the slab for the casino floor and the outline of the hotel's swimming pool.
"One of the things that you will not see is one of those boats," said Buxton. "That's because we're all on one level. We're going to be on a barge."
Developers said the casino would generate more than 1,200 jobs, which was a selling feature for voters who approved the project last November. Already hundreds of workers have been hired just on the construction side alone.
"These guys have been doing a great job to make sure we open, which we're scheduled to open in late May or early June."
Still months before the opening, the casino has drawn the attention of visitors from all over. Buxton said they have turned to social media, asking people on Facebook and their website blog, to make suggestions on the kind of entertainment they want to see at the venue. That includes the different games, music, and major headliners. They also have a 24-7 webcam that lets folks see the casino's progress.
"We want everybody in the area to take ownership and feel like this is their casino."
Already, the 900 seat event center has started to fill up with reservations for banquets, meetings, and concerts. But make no mistake. When the doors open to the Margaritaville Resort Casino, the first performance will belong to the project's namesake, Jimmy Buffet himself.
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