Episodes of the financial reality show “Billion Dollar Buyer” filmed in Biloxi and Gulfport this summer will air on CNBC the next two weeks, giving double the national exposure to South Mississippi.
Viewers will learn whether Kismet Cosmetics got the big purchase order from “Billion Dollar Buyer” Tilman Fertita on the next episode at 9 p.m. Tuesday on CNBC. The lipsticks and cosmetics produced by the Covington, La., company are made in America and were tried by guests at Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi during filming in late June.
A week later, on a sultry July day, Fertitta drove up to Pop Brothers of Gulfport and sampled the local company’s gourmet frozen ice treats. Pop Brothers will be one of two businesses featured on the Dec. 13 show.
Now in its second season, “Billion Dollar Buyer” follows Fertitta as he meets with the owners of two small businesses, samples their goods and assesses their compatibility with his businesses. Fertitta is sole owner of Landry’s, which has more than 500 dining, hospitality and entertainment properties in 36 states and casinos in Biloxi, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Laughlin, Nevada, and Lake Charles, La.
At the end of each hourlong episode, Fertitta decides whether to place a purchase order with one or both of the companies — or with neither.
He also involves his businesses, staff and customers in the show. Guests visiting the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi in June had the chance to sample Kismet Cosmetics in the retail area of the resort and give Fertitta reviews. Two waitresses working at the Golden Nugget’s swimming pool tested the company’s bronzer and lipstick to see how they hold up to heat and humidity.
“I’m feeling very confident,” Kismet owner Caitlin Picou said during the filming in June. Even if Fertitta doesn’t place an order, Picou said she had the chance to benefit from his business expertise.
Cheerleaders from local schools and Mayor Billy Hewes welcomed Fertitta to his taping at Pop Brothers in Gulfport, making an impression even before he bit into one of the icy pops. Also featured on the Dec. 13 show entitled “Maybe You Should Stay a Small Business” is DamnDog, an edgy men’s handbag line whose founder is looking to step out of his parents’ shadow.
The promo for the episode asks, “Will these strong-willed entrepreneurs be able to prove themselves to Tilman, or will they be stuck slinging small orders?”
Fertitta is quick to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in each business he evaluates. For South Mississippi he also saw the potential of showcasing the cities in which these small businesses operate.
The show was so popular in its first season, CNBC doubled the episodes to 12 in season two.
‘Billion Dollar Buyer’ schedule
Dec. 6: Filmed at Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi, featuring Kismet Cosmetics from the New Orleans area
Dec. 13: Filmed in Gulfport and Biloxi, featuring Pop Brothers of Gulfport
Shows air at 9 p.m. on CNBC