Page 9 - Mississippi/Louisiana Gaming News - Winter, 2022
P. 9

Beau Rivage welcomes millionth air passenger
By Lori Beth Susman
BILOXI — When Beau Rivage Resort & Casino welcomed its one millionth charter program passenger to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in August, the celebration not only marked the amazing number of visitors who have come to the Gulf Coast through the air program, but also showcased an important partnership the Biloxi resort has in the community.
When gaming started in 1992, the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport saw a jump in passenger numbers, but when Beau Rivage opened its doors in 1999, the airport realized an 85% increase over 1998 passenger counts, said Clay Williams, airport executive director.
“Beau Rivage has worked strategically over the years to exponentially grow its air charter program, bringing visitors to the Coast from 90 cities across the U.S. With this effort to attract additional fly- in visitors, the Beau Rivage air program has grown to comprise approximately
25 percent of the air service at Gulfport-
Biloxi International Airport,” he said. “Beau Rivage is a tremendous partner.” The millionth passenger milestone took place aboard
a Sun Country flight
inbound from the
St. Pete-Clearwater
International Airport.
Even through rainy
weather, passengers
on the milestone
flight were greeted
with a water cannon
salute on the tarmac
alongside Beau
Rivage charter
services employees,
International Airport
staff, elected officials
and dignitaries. Cake, champagne, commemorative gifts and photos also accompanied the red carpet welcome.
Beau Rivage’s scheduled charter air program formally launched in 2009 following a post-Hurricane Katrina $550 million resort renovation, and the resort has partnered with Sun Country Airlines since 2014. Since its inception, the program has flown more than 8,000 flights from 90 cities nationwide, from Minneapolis to Miami and New Hampshire to West Texas. Air packages are offered to casino players and leisure travelers
and include roundtrip airfare,
 Passengers were treated to gifts and surprises at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. They were part of the flight that included the one millionth air passenger. Betty Pugsley (center) also celebrated her 100th birthday at Beau Rivage.
  Champagne and a designer cake were waiting for guests when they arrived at Beau Rivage. (Below) Airport executives and staff, along with community leaders, gathered to welcome the inbound flight.
accommodations for three or four nights, baggage delivery service and roundtrip transportation between Beau Rivage and the Gulfport airport. The air program has also generated 1.6 million hotel room nights at the Biloxi resort.
“MGM Resorts International guests from around the country love to visit the Gulf Coast and our goal with this program has always been to make that travel as easy as possible,” said Beau Rivage President and COO Brandon Dardeau. “The charter program has elevated all of Coastal Mississippi, including our AAA Four Diamond resort on the beach in Biloxi, from a regional destination to a national market.”
   The Sun Country flight received a water cannon salute as it landed at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

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