Biloxi, Mississippi, located on the waters of the Mississippi Sound, received extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina, but is well on its way to recovering. Because of off-shore casinos in Biloxi, the city was quickly becoming a hot spot for tourism. Katrina destroyed nine out of 10 of these casinos, severely damaging the remaining barge.

The casino industry has rebuilt quickly, promoting continued tourism to the area and providing revenue that will fuel renewal efforts. Special state legislation allowed the casinos to rebuild on shore instead of on floating barges, making them better protected from future storms and encouraging them to rebuild. Most of the casinos have already reopened, several are scheduled to reopen soon, and several new casinos are in the works.

In addition to tax revenues that will help rebuild the local infrastructure, the casinos are important employers. As workers return to the casinos, the demand for housing continues to rise. Like the surrounding hurricane-affected areas, Biloxi is seeing an increase in property values because of the limited amount of inventory available.

Biloxi was settled by French colonists in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and served as the capital of French Louisiana from 1720 to 1723. Biloxi was incorporated as a town in 1838, and developed from a primitive area to a summer resort during the mid 19th century, with a number of fine hotels springing up by the late 1850s. The railroad came to Biloxi in the late 19th century, and soon after a number of canneries were established, making Biloxi the “Seafood Capital of the World” by the turn of the century.  In 1941, Biloxi was chosen as the site for the Keesler Field training base, which later became Keesler Air Force Base.