September 22, 2015
By Mary Perez at Sun Herald
HANCOCK COUNTY -- The first 120 guest rooms at the new Silver Slipper Casino opened in stages through the summer, and on Tuesday the nine penthouse suites on the 6th floor made their debut.
It took three years from groundbreaking to the grand opening, and John Ferrucci, general manager of the resort, said it was both over time and over the $17.7 million budget. The final cost was $20 million, and he said 50 full time jobs were created.
"We spent an extra million on that top floor," said Dan Lee, the CEO of Full House Resorts, who came into the office after the hotel already was built. It as his idea to transform the top floor into suites with amazing views of the water.
"It's all about luxury and about giving people what they don't have at home," Lee said. The suites range from 650 to 1,300 square feet. they all have luxurious bathrooms and bedrooms along with surprises such as soaking tubs that fill from above, faucets that change change the color of the water to indicate the temperature and toilets that have lids that open automatically and clean themselves.
Lee said he discovered the toilets at a hotel in Japan. They cost $5,000 each. "We put them here for fun," he said.
Having a hotel on property has changed the experience at Silver Slipper, "We saw positive impact immediately," Ferrucci said. The buffet alone has already served over 200 tons of crab this year.
Rates for the hotel rooms range from about $99 to $129 a night. The suites they expect to be reserved by their casino members most of the time, he said.
"It's like a dream come true to have these quality hotel rooms," said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, who was among those who attended Tuesday's grand opening. The hotel will prompt people to "linger longer" in the county, she said. "The longer they stay the more money they will spend in the local businesses and everyone will prosper."