Biloxi Green-Lights Jimmy Buffet-Themed Casino, Events Center

City officials have unanimously approved construction of a new gaming resort, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant, in Biloxi, Miss., local newspaper The Sun Herald reported last week.

The $48 million resort will total 68,000 square feet and will include an events center, an 18-slip marina, a casino, and several restaurants and bars — including a volcano-themed bar with a volcano that erupts margaritas once every hour.

Although an accompanying hotel presumably is planned, it will not be part of the first phase of construction, according to The Sun Herald.

The project replaces the $700 million Margaritaville Casino and Resort that was to be built and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corp., which halted development in 2008. That project was to include 100,000 square feet of casino floor space, 250,000 square feet of shops and specialty stores, and 66,000 square feet of business service space.

"We are disappointed that our project with Margaritaville will not proceed," John Payne, Caesars Entertainment central division president, told The Sun Herald last month. "We will continue to explore opportunities that will allow us to enhance our resort. We remain committed to the Gulf Coast."

Construction on Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant is expected to begin this spring, with an opening planned before the end of the year.