As Tunica's fledgling casino industry has expanded, so too have its
casinos' meetings and convention space, says Webster Franklin,
executive director of the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The county's nine casinos now offer meeting and convention planners
a total of just under 200,000 square feet of space.
"When it comes to the conventions business, you can't find a
better place to hold your meeting than in Tunica," says Franklin.
"We have brand new facilities and great hotels, meeting space and
restaurants, along with fabulous food and beverage prices and
built-in entertainment. Whether it's the gaming tables, a great
meal or seeing a show, it's all here."
Tunica also has low lodging and food taxes, Franklin says. The
room tax is 9% (2% on lodging plus a 7% state sales tax), and 8% on
food and beverage (1% food and beverage tax plus the 7% state sales
Franklin calls the meetings and convention industry "a hard one
to break into, especially when no one has heard of you." Despite
that, he says, Tunica is "getting the opportunity that most other
new destinations do not get because of our facilities and
The CVB is at the beginning in terms of going after meetings and
conventions but that business is a major priority for it, Franklin
says. Its initial target is small to mid-sized regional meetings by
groups like associations in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Eventually the CVB hopes to attract national organizations and
The following is a breakdown of meeting facilities at Tunica's
Bally's Saloon, Gambling Hall & Hotel features 625 square
feet of meeting space in its conference room which has a capacity
for 40 theater-style. The Silo, home of Bonkerz Comedy Club, is
available for larger groups Monday to Thursday. The Silo can seat
Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel has 9,000 square feet of meeting
space. Its Great Hall is divisible into four sections and
accommodates up to 675 theater-style or 500 for banquet seating.
The Ireland Room, divisible into two sections, accommodates up to
100 for theater seating.
Gold Strike Casino Resort, with 14,600 square feet of meeting
space, has a 10,000-square-foot ballroom divisible into four
sections and five meeting rooms. The 18,250-square-foot Millennium
Theatre accommodates 800.
The Grand Casino Tunica has a 48,000-square-foot convention
center which includes a 13,500-square-foot ballroom that divides
into five rooms, and nine meeting rooms with a total of 7,500
square feet. The ballroom can accommodate 1,350 in theater-style
seating and 900 for a banquet.
Harrah's Tunica Casino & Hotel offers nearly 13,500 square
feet of meeting space in its Carnival Room Event Center. The
facility accommodates up to 1,500 theater-style and more than 1,400
for a reception.
Hollywood Casino & Hotel has 14,400 square feet of meeting
space in its Hollywood Ballroom and pre-function rooms. It can
accommodate 1,100 in theater-style seating and 600 for a
Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall features 30,000 square feet
of meeting space for up to 1,600. The 22,000-square-foot River
Palace Arena accommodates 2,500 for a reception and 1,000 for a
banquet. It has another seven meeting rooms, the largest of which
can accommodate 544 in theater-style seating.
Sheraton Casino & Hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting
space. The 9,768 square-foot Grand Salon seats 1,200 theater-style.
Two meeting rooms can seat up to 150 theater-style, 110 for a
banquet and 150 for a reception.
In addition to the casinos, the Holiday Inn Express, with 100
guest rooms and four suites, has four meeting rooms. The largest
can accommodate 121 in theater-style seating and 182 for a