Harrison County

Gulfport’s Roy Anderson Corp. wins $200M contract to build Arkansas casino complex

Gulfport-based Roy Anderson Corp. has landed a $200 million contract to build a casino and hotel at Southland in West Memphis, Arkansas, its parent company has announced in a news release.

In addition to a casino, the news release from Tutor Perini Corp. says, Anderson will oversee construction of a 300-room hotel that will include 20 floors. The hotel will have 12 penthouse and 72 corner suites.

Restaurants in the 240,000 square-foot casino complex will include an expanded buffet, steakhouse, food hall and coffee shop. The complex also will feature a covered garage.

Construction is expected to start right away and be finished around January 2021. The project is privately funded by Delaware North, a company that has since the 1970s featured greyhound racing at Southland, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Southland is one of four locations where Arkansas voters recently approved locating casinos. Competition from Arkansas and other states has been cited as the main reason that three casinos in Tunica have closed since 2014.

Anderson has built many of the Coast’s casinos, including twice constructing Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Biloxi. The original was almost finished when Hurricane Katrina destroyed it.

Other casinos in the Anderson portfolio, according to the company website: Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast in Bay St. Louis, Margaritaville Resort and Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, and Grand Casino Resort in Tunica, which has closed.

Anderson is also building The Mississippi Aquarium on the waterfront in downtown Gulfport, a contract originally estimated at $52.1 million. The aquarium should be finished by early 2020.

Roy Anderson Jr. founded the Gulfport company in 1955 with a pickup truck, two employees and $3,000, the website says.

Roy Anderson was founded by the company’s namesake in 1955 and sold to Tutor Perini for $64 million in 2011. Anderson has maintained its corporate offices in Gulfport, serving as Tutor Perini’s southeast division.