American Landmark: Beau Rivage Casino Biloxi
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
The Beau Rivage Casino Hotel Tower in August of 2014
American Landmarks is an irregular feature focusing on buildings, sites, objects, and structures which have not been officially designated as any of the four landmark types covered on this site, but have still been deemed by me to be important icons of America.
There are two states in the nation that have casino hotel towers as their tallest building. One is, perhaps obviously, Nevada, and the other is Mississippi. The Renaissance Center Tower in Detroit is also a hotel and is the tallest building in Michigan.
The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi rises 346 feet and is the tallest and largest building in the state. Completed in 1999 at a cost of $800 million and designed in the postmodern style, the 32-story hotel tower has survived two major hurricanes: "George" when it was under construction, and "Katrina" in 2005. The casino portion is located on top of a set of massive floating barges, the largest of their kind in the world, a condition of Mississippi state law that prevented gambling on land. The barges make up 92,000 of the resort's 985,000 square feet, supporting gaming and dining facilities as well as a large pool and its surrounding deck.
When "Katrina" hit the Biloxi coast, many neighboring floating casinos were washed ashore, in some cases across large roads, and ended up being scrapped. While the first few floors of the hotel tower endured extensive water damage, the floating portion of the Beau Rivage remained in place and required only minor repairs given the ferocity of the storm.
Following a $550 million renovation, the Beau Rivage was reopened a year after "Katrina" hit and remains the most popular resort casino in Mississippi. It has held AAA Four Diamond Status since 2002.