March 17, 2014
By Mary Perez at Sun Herald
BILOXI -- Nothing was on the property except a deserted building when Chris Ferrara began developing Biloxi Boardwalk Marina and then the Hook Up Restaurant, and now he has entered into an agreement with Warner Hospitality to begin preparations for Biloxi Boardwalk Resort and Casino.
The sprawling former Heinz plant at the end of Eighth Street on the Back Bay in East Biloxi will be turned into a casino resort with a 350-to 500-room hotel and a large conference center, Ferrara said.
It also will have new and unique amenities, he said.
Warner Hospitality's president, William Warner, was an executive for Station Casinos for 15 years before founding Warner Gaming.
Ferrara said the agreement with Warner brings credibility to the project and allows them to finalize the funding for the casino.
"In searching for the right management company, I felt as though Warner Hospitality was the best fit for this project," said Ferrara, who is one of the largest land owners in Biloxi and president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, a custom manufacturer of fire equipment in Louisiana.
"Warner and his extensive team have a deep background in gaming and resort development and management, and they will certainly assist in bringing this project to the next level," Ferrara said.
Warner's casino division focuses on creating a variety of non-casino amenities, according to the company's website.
"We are pleased to be working with Mr. Ferrara in developing a casino and resort like no other Biloxi has seen," Warner said.
The agreement calls for Warner Hospitality to develop and manage Biloxi Boardwalk Casino. The company also manages Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and is developing Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, Iowa, along with managing or overseeing the development of several other casinos in New Mexico, Nevada, California and Washington.