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DIAMONDHEAD, MS-A Florida-based casino developer is preparing to develop a destination casino resort at its 404-acre site on the Bay of St. Louis in Diamondhead, MS.

Casino World Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Madeira Beach, FL-based Diamondhead Casino Corp., has hired CB Richard Ellis to secure debt and equity financing for the project. The agreement with CBRE is contingent on performance and does not require Diamondhead Casino Corp. to advance or pay costs or expenses. The job will be handled by CBRE’s Global Gaming Group, which is headquartered in Las Vegas.

Diamondhead Casino Corp. vice president Gregory Harrison was not available for comment on Tuesday, but in a prepared statement the company said there is no outstanding debt and there are no liens on the property. John Knott, senior vice president of the Global Gaming Group tells GlobeSt.com that the land, which will be used as the equity component, has a value in excess of $50 million. The cost of the first phase of development, the hotel and casino, will be in the range of $150 million to $200 million, he says.

Knott and his team are in the process of drafting a feasibility study to determine the appropriate size of the hotel and casino as well as what else should be built in the way of retail and entertainment options that will help attract people to the hotel and casino. A business plan will be completed by the end of the year, he says, and the search for the right lender will begin after the first of the year.

“The fact that the property fronts Interstate 10 and the Bay of St. Louis for approximately two miles gives the property a rare combination of casino, commercial and residential appeal,” says Knott.

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