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- Riverwalk Casino Hotel
- 1046 Warrenton Rd - Vicksburg
- Mississippi 39180 - United States
Since the founding of Vicksburg in 1811, the Mississippi River has had enormous impact on the economic development of the area. Today's continued growth is no exception. The scenic river city is once again experiencing economic growth as a direct result of the river's newest industry... dockside casino gaming. As is the case with much of the area, even our newest industry is steeped in history. Back in 1835, a cad and known gambler, Burt Cabler, disrupted the Vicksburg Rifle Corps' annual July 4th picnic. A city-wide melee resulted in 20 days of vigilante law and disappearance of institutional gaming for over 25 years. Today, gaming is respectable, and one of the fastest-growing segments of the United States' entertainment industry. An estimated 50% of the U.S. adult population has gamed in a casino at some point in their life. From a demographic standpoint, casino gaming incidence is highest among the affluent, college-educated, older households.
On a local level, gaming is good business. Since the first Vicksburg casino opened its doors on August 9, 1993, millions of dollars in revenue have been generated for the local and state economy. A gaming devices tax of $150 per gaming machine is imposed whenever a casino initially opens its doors, renews its gaming license (annually) or increases in-house gaming devices. An impact fee (used for infrastructure improvements in the city) is imposed on all new casinos located in the city. The majority of gaming tax revenues are generated by a 3.2% county/municipal tax on casinos' wagers less winnings paid out. Within the first twelve months of the industry's introduction, a record number of building permits were issued for Warren County. Additionally, assessed valuation of real and personal property increased approximately $33 million. Within the same time period, gaming related activities helped to create over 3,500 new jobs in the city and county.
In addition to traffic volume increases (an average of approximately 40%) within the first twelve-month period of gaming inception, hotel occupancy has increased from approximately 50% to over 83%. This increase was achieved despite the addition of several hundred new hotel rooms. The casino industry is by no means the single contributor to Warren County's growth and development. in fact, continued growth can be directly attributed to the area's diversified industrial, commercial and agricultural base. More than fifty manufacturing firms call Warren County "home." This traditional segment of the local economy is responsible for the manufacture of a wide range of products. These products include lighting fixtures, wood products, chemicals, prefabricated housing, fabricated metal products, liner board and pertroleum products to name a few.
The Port of Vicksburg has been designated a Foreign Trade Zone and an official U.S. Customs Port of Entry. The facility offers covered loading and unloading for industrial customers, as well as 129,000 feet of warehouse space. Government also plays an important part in the local economy. Nearly 20% of the labor force is employed in governmental sectors. The four offices of the Army Corps of Engineers alone are responsible for annual expenditures of nearly $500 million. Wholesale, retail and service businesses are also a large contributing factor to Vicksburg-Warren County's economic health. Nearly 50% of the employed labor market impacts tax and other revenues through income earned within this non-manufactoring segment of the local economy. Agribusiness continues to be an important component of the area's economy. Timber and soybeans are the county's two major cash crops. Both, along with their by-products, are utilized by several area industries. Cotton, once king and the major agricultural interest of the region, remains the third most important harvest in Warren County. Other cash crops include corn, wheat, and sorghum.
Livestock production further adds to the area's agricultural income. More than 55,000 acres throughout the county are devoted to pasturelands for livestock production. Whatever the business interest, capital and financing are available through area financial institutions. These range from Private Activity Bonds to the state's "504 Program" and local banks' Revolving Loan Fund. Affordable public and private industrial property is widely available throughout Warren County. Abundant acreage is available on a wide variety of sites suitable for industrial and/or commercial use. Nearly 1,000 acres are available within the Ceres Research and Industrial lnterplex. The complex is located on Interstate 20, eleven miles east of Vicksburg. This facility, convenient to all major transportation systems could easily become one of the Southeast's premiere industrial centers.
An additional 150 acres is available for development at the Airport Industrial Park (the old Vicksburg airport site), located on Highway 61 South. The Airport Industrial Park is located less than ten miles south of the city and is served by the Kansas City Southern Railroad. The Emmitte Heining industrial Center is located north of the city at the confluence of the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers. This location offers easy access to the highly acclaimed Port of Vicksburg. The Emmitte Heining Industrial Park is also served by Kansas City Southern Railroad. From any location in Vicksburg-Warren County, Interstate 20, a major east/west artery, offers easy access to the important Middle South Market.
Local and state taxes are designed to enhance new enterprises and retain existing industrial/commercial concerns. Vicksburg-Warren County's pro-business climate is further demonstrated by the community's strong Economic Development Foundation (EDF). This organization, comprised of progressive businesses and individuals, continually strives to foster an environment conducive to economic growth. The Vicksburg-Warren County Economic Development Foundation maintains complete information on available resources within the county's industrial parks/centers and other sites throughout the area. Tourism is also "big business" in Vicksburg-Warren County. Each year, millions of visitors are drawn to the area's natural scenic beauty and historic landmarks, including the well-known Vicksburg National Military Park. A 10 million dollar convention center is being planned for a five to eight acre site in downtown Vicksburg. The center will help serve local events and attract major tours and conventions to the area.
Here, in Warren County, seemingly contrasting images complement each other and coexist. A modern manufacturing plant sits beside giant live oak trees, festooned in Spanish moss. Contemporary structures face antebellum architecture; near major highways, folks stroll the same pathways trod by Civil War heroes. The community, city and county government, and an involved Chamber of Commerce, all strive to balance our historical integrity with orderly growth. This unique blending, creates a rich quality of lifestyle. The forecast for the future is bright in Warren County.
Within 500 miles of Warren County, are all or portions of 1,142 counties in sixteen states. These states include traditional markets of the Midwest and the major growth markets of the Southern Sunbelt. This Middle South market encompasses over 51 million people and 76 metropolitan areas. Population projections indicate that this U.S. market will experience the greatest population growth through the year 2000. Vicksburg is strategically located within a transportation network with unparalleled access to this important Middle South Market. Since early 1800, the Mississippi River has played a vital role in Vicksburg's growth as an active port city.
One look at a road map shows that Warren County is intersected by an excellent highway system. U.S. Highway 80 and Interstate 20 run parallel in an east/west direction. Both thorough-fares fares intersect U.S. Highway 61 which runs north/south. Two Mississippi highways, 3 and 27, traverse and serve Warren County. The junction of Interstate 20 and Interstate 55 is located only 40 miles from Vicksburg in Jackson, Mississippi. Kansas City Southern Railway serves Vicksburg with a main line from Meridian, Mississippi to Shreveport, Louisiana. Vicksburg has the advantage of the only rail crossing over the Mississippi River between Memphis (Tennessee) and Baton Rouge (Louisiana). This advantage greatly reduces rail transit time on incoming and outgoing western shipments. Facilities are also available for the handling of piggy-back shipments.
The Vicksburg Municipal Airport, located eight miles southwest of the city, is a full service facility with a 5,000 foot by 100 foot lighted runway and NDB instrument approach. Aircraft repair and jet fuel service are also available. The new Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport, located six miles west of Vicksburg, recently received certification from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Phase I of the airport project is complete and Daytime VFR has been approved. Phase 2 is underway and nearing completion. The Vicksburg-Tallulah Airport will replace Vicksburg Municipal. The new facility will provide an FAA instrument approach system with lower minimums and modern technology and services.
Commercial airline service is available at the Jackson International Airport. This facility is located 53 miles east of Vicksburg on Interstate 20. Greyhound Bus Lines maintains a terminal in Vicksburg. Greyhound offers both passenger and parcel service. Over 20 motor freight carriers are licensed to serve Warren County on a regular basis. These carriers provide pick-up and/or delivery service. Three carrier companies maintain terminals in the area. Parcel service is provided by Federal Express, United Parcel Service, Purolator Courier and Roadway Packaging Service.
Education - A High Priority
On July 1, 1987, the Warren County School System and the Vicksburg Public School System voluntarily consolidated to form the Vicksburg Warren School District. Operating under a five-member elected Board of Trustees and an appointed Superintendent, the Vicksburg Warren School District is striving to help area youth develop into productive adults. The system serves approximately 10,000 students and is composed of nine elementary schools (K-6), two junior high schools (7-8) and two high schools (9-12). A Center for Alternative Programs is also under the systems auspices. All fourteen school programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation.
The Vicksburg Warren School District's curriculum is well defined. It is designed to assure that all students have time to master the basic skills and to explore objectives that challenge beyond the basics. The curriculum is implemented districtwide and a computerized testing program helps ensure measurability of basic skills. Emphasis is also placed on problem solving and the development of "thinking" skills. Students with exceptional academic potential are challenged through a variety of elementary gifted programs and secondary advanced placement and honor instruction. Academic prerequisites and the successful completion of screening procedures are necessary for participation in these programs. Two elementary schools have been designated as magnet schools. Bowmar Elementary offers a full magnet program with emphasis on computers and thinking skills. Grove Street Elementary features a magnet component stressing math, science and Spanish. Students must meet entrance criteria to participate in the magnet program.
A comprehensive, individualized ,Program of instruction caters to students with learning disabilities, visual or hearing difficulties, emotional handicaps, language or speech impairments. Programs are also available for those students classified as educable mentally retarded, the developmentally delayed and those with other special needs. The screening process involves the child's parents and an Individual Educational Plan guides the student's instruction. Chapter I services provide students performing below academic levels (of others their age) with extra help and instruction. Chapter I programs offer smaller classes, additional teacher assistants and a variety of teaching materials and methods. Two dropout prevention programs are available at the junior high level. These programs are designed to target and assist students experiencing difficulty in school or otherwise classified as "at risk."
To complement academic and developmental offerings, the Vicksburg Warren School District provides a comprehensive program of interscholastic activities. Students maintaining academic requirements may participate in exciting extracurricular activities including band, choral music, academic honor organizations, clubs, cheerleading, drill teams, newspaper and yearbook publications, student government, theater and athletics. As an alternative to public education, there are three parochial schools and one private school. St. Francis Xavier Elementary School (K-6) and St. Aloysius High School (7-12) have provided quality education in Vicksburg for approximately 130 years. Together, these schools have provided a comprehensive, qualitative program of education for its students. Nearly 100% of St. Francis/St. Aloysius students pursue a collegiate education. The schools have additionally produced numerous National Merit semi-finalists. All Saints Episcopal School is a secondary parochial institution. The school operates under a "boarding school" format accepting youths in grades 8-12. All Saints attracts outstanding students from all over the world.
Both school systems are relatively small and provide an excellent atmosphere for learning and preparedness for future success. Both systems additionally complement the academic curriculum with athletic and extracurricular activities. Vicksburg-Warren County also offers an opportunity for private school education. The private school, Porter's Chapel Academy, is accredited by the Mississippi Private School Association. The school is classified as a college preparatory institution and offers an educational opportunity for grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Take your pick... whether your tastes in real estate range from . simple to the magnificent, old to new, you'll find a neighborhood in Warren County to suit your taste. In Vicksburg alone, home styles range from Colonial Revival to Victorian, from cozy cottage to rambling ranch. Throughout the county you'll find low-to-no-maintenance condos, apartments, and townhouses with little or no upkeep. Or if you're a Sunday gardener, choose a country home with an abundance of acreage. Whatever style, square footage or lot size you choose, housing in Warren County is a good value. The steady increase of home sales in Warren County gives the consumer a good selection within the market, a market that is healthy and competitive.
Continued industrial/commercial growth and increased "middle-class" population growth has made residential development a priority for city planners, area developers and individuals. Most developments, whether single or multiple family housing, are classified as "affordable, upscale" homes. Average building costs are estimated at a reasonable $50-$60 dollars per square foot. There are numerous realtors and realty companies in Vicksburg and Warren County. Most individuals and companies are members of the Vicksburg-Warren County Board of Realtors. They are additionally members of the area's "Multiple Listing Service."At any given time, homes ranging from the mid $30,000's to over $200,000 are available through local realtors. The average price of a home in Vicksburg-Warren County is $65-$75 per square foot, including lot. Land costs in the Vicksburg-Warren County area vary with location and proximity to city utilities and paved streets. Topnotch fire and police protection covers all sections of the city and county.
Financing is readily available through banks and savings institutions. Both fixed and variable rate mortgages are generally available to buyers. Financing is also available through FHA and VA. Apartment living and rental housing are also popular choices in Vicksburg. Agents, developers and individuals throughout the county offer various terms for housing and apartment rentals. There are currently more than 3,500 apartment units throughout the city. Several new complexes are in varied phases of planning and development. Quality housing is also available for senior citizens and disadvantaged residents. Retirement communities and nursing homes are located throughout the city, county and area. Apartment and rental programs, under "Section 8" and other government-funded programs are available for qualified residents of Vicksburg and Warren County.
Recreation & Sports
One of the most meaningful diversions this region has to offer is the exploration of our nation's history. The Vicksburg National Military Park, beautiful antebellum homes and historic buildings and sites are just a few of the attractions for history buffs and sightseers. Civil War battle grounds encompass the area and military reenactment groups stage mock battles and encampments throughout the year. Vicksburg-Warren County is justifiably proud of its recreational facilities. Ninety acres of municipal land have been devoted to recreational facilities, offering activities for the entire family.
The actively minded will enjoy the variety of parks and playgrounds, tennis courts and swimming pools. Those in a restive mood can take advantage of the picnic facilities. An array of organized recreational programs is offered county-wide and a full-time recreational director keeps activities flowing smoothly. The quality of life in the area is further enhanced by special activities offered during the year, including sanctioned tournaments for all ages. Whether you're a scratch golfer or just tee-up for the fun and relaxation of the sport, you can take advantage of two golf courses in Warren County. The Vicksburg Country Club features a driving range, practice putting green, a pro shop and a full-service club house. Vicksburg Country Club is a private club, offering members and guests additional amenities including tennis, swimming, dining and various social events.
Anyone can enjoy a game of golf on the 18-hole course at the Clear Creek Recreational Complex. The Clear Creek Recreational Complex is a county facility located in Bovina, just a short drive from Vicksburg. Young and old alike will enjoy the additional leisure opportunities offered within the complex. Tennis courts, jogging trails, horseback riding and swimming are all available for your enjoyment and that of your family, friends and guests. Soccer has enjoyed enormous popularity in Vicksburg. Since the inception of the soccer program, interest in the sport has increased from eight to nearly one hundred teams. Organized soccer is available through city and county programs for nearly every age group. The YMCA is an active, integral part of the community and provides a wealth of recreational opportunities. Since its founding in 1923, the YMCA has expanded to include the John 0. Raworth Branch Family YMCA. This branch, along with the original facility (downtown) offer a wide variety of programs, classes and activities designed to interest every member of the family. Camps, fitness classes, art and leisure activity classes (e.g. bridge, watercolor, photography), Karate, outdoor excursions, competitive and noncompetitive sports programs, special events and adult and senior programs are just a few of the activities sponsored by the YMCA throughout the year.
Warren County is a sportsman's paradise. Hunting and fishing are extremely popular here and the region's forests, rivers and lakes are abundant with wildlife. Outdoorsmen hunt and trap for whitetail deer, wild turkey, dove, squirrel and other woodland creatures. A variety of waterfowl are also in plentiful supply. The 18 lakes and rivers in the area offer the angler bass, crappie, catfish and bream fishing. Watersports are, of course, an obvious favorite of enthusiasts and the facilities for boating and skiing are excellent. For an exciting evening on the town, try your luck at Vicksburg's newest recreational activity. Since the approval of dockside gaming in 1994, four Las Vegas style casinos have opened in Vicksburg. Ameristar and Harrah's offer multi-floored gaming activity entertainment and dining in styling reminiscent of the old riverboats. The Isle of Capri, also multi-storied, offers patrons a "Caribbean Flavored" gaming entertainment and dining experience. Rainbow Casino currently offers an intimate setting for trying your luck, with hotel, dining and amusement facilities currently under development. Whatever you want to do... just for the fun of it... you'll enjoy the great friends you'll meet and the great times in store for you in Vicksburg-Warren County.
Arts & Culture
One valid measurement of the quality of life in a community is its support of the arts. Music, drama, dance and other art forms have been an important and vital part of Vicksburg - Warren County for generations. During the heyday of the great riverboats, entertainment was provided by traveling bands, musical/minstrel shows and acting groups traveling on "showboats." Often the major event of the year, these theatrical groups performed in towns up and down the river. In 1936, a local theatre group borrowed a barge from the Army Corps of Engineers for the first production of "Gold in the Hills." "Gold," a melodrama like those once popular on the old river boats, has run on a seasonal basis in Vicksburg ever since. "Gold" has been seen by more than a quarter of a million people and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running show of its type.
Today, the Vicksburg Theatre Guild is one of the most active cultural organizations in the city. At home in the Parkside Playhouse (3101 Confederate Avenue), the community theatre presents five productions each year. Selections include comedy, drama, classics and musicals - something for any theatrical taste. A treat for music lovers, the Vicksburg Community orchestra and the Vicksburg Community Chorus both offer an outstanding schedule of performances. Their repertoires cover a broad spectrum from ballet and bluegrass to religious selections and popular pieces. A wide array of other special events are planned throughout the county each year. The Miss Mississippi Pageant, the state preliminary for the Miss America Pageant, is an annual tradition. A lavish, televised production, the pageant features some of the state's most intelligent, beautiful and talented young women vying for the opportunity to represent the Magnolia State in Atlantic City.
Seasonal events for the athletically minded include the "Run Through History" in the Vicksburg National Military Park, the "Over the River Run," the annual "Heart-Walk," "Night Run," and bicycle races, to name just a few. The Spring Pilgrimage and Fall Pilgrimage are grand tours showcasing historic homes and sites in and around Vicksburg. Special events, retail promotions, and community activities are planned each year during the pilgrimages. History buffs have several other opportunities to experience the days of yesteryear. These include Civil War re-enactments, the National Military Park, and tours of antebellum and other historic homes, many of which are now bed and breakfast inns. The Old Court House Museum, built by slave labor in 1858, is today an historical treasure trove featuring an outstanding collection of Civil War memorabilia.
The Biedenharn Candy Company & Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia is the site of the first bottling of Coca-Cola in 1894. The museum contains reproduction bottling works, "Coke" memorabilia, a 1900's soda fountain and a restored 1890 candy store. The restored U.S.S. Cairo, a Union ironclad sunk north of Vicksburg during the Civil War, is displayed in the National Military Park. The gunboat, sunk on December 12, 1862, was the first vessel in history sunk by an electronically detonated mine. The gunboat was salvaged in the early 1960's. Its remains and other artifacts are now on display in the Cairo Museum adjacent to the Vicksburg National Cemetery. Whatever your tastes... Vicksburg and Warren County offer an impressive choice of attractions and events for the entire community to enjoy.
Religion and Community Activities
People of widely varying religious beliefs have always been attracted by the pleasant livability of the lower Mississippi Valley. Since the founding of Vicksburg in 1811, residents have exercised their right to freedom of worship. Today, there are congregations representing over 30 faiths and sects in the community. Here, families worship together and churches are a centerpiece for many social and community activities. Local churches sponsor youth camps and activities, programs for senior citizens, young married and divorced/singles. Facilities range from quaint, old historical structures and towers reaching toward the heavens, to modern architecture.
Whatever their religious affiliaions, the churches of Warren County respond quickly and compassionately to local and regional needs. That spirit and the spirit of other outreach programs in Warren County serve as a living testament to the character of the people here. Community activities and fun abound in Vicksburg and Warren County. Just one look at our annual calendar of events shows organized events throughout the year. There are Civil War re-enactments and historic observances, arts and crafts fairs, exhibits, holiday events, plays and musical productions, concerts, sports and tours. These events involve the entire community and attract millions of visitors each year.
It's food and festivity. It's music and entertainment. It's arts and crafts and more. And it's fun for more than 25,000 to 30,000 folks each year. Each April, the people of Vicksburg and Warren County celebrate the arrival of spring in great fashion. With historic downtown Vicksburg and the Mighty Mississippi providing the backdrop, the city of Vicksburg hosts the popular, ever-growing "Riverfest" city celebration each year. The three-day festival offers a wide array of family fun and entertainment. The celebration revs up Friday with the downtown block party. Live entertainment features a wide musical variety, from country bands to jazz bands, surpassed only by the delectable food choices. Enjoy boiled crawfish, "Cajun Corn," shish-ka-bobs, funnel cakes, freshly squeezed lemonade, fried catfish... a taste treat for every taste.
Saturday's events include something for the whole family. Children's activities, arts and crafts on the courthouse lawn, more food, and big-name entertainment are just a few of the choices your family will make during the second day of Riverfest. A "Day in the Park" concludes the three-day festival. There's live entertainment and more food of all kinds. Local and area businesses and civic groups highlight the wide world of sports, and friendly competition s the rule of the day during the Super Star Sunday competition. Come "pass" a fun-filled weekend with us. You'll truly enjoy Riverfest, a springtime extravaganza.
Civic and fraternal organizations Play an important role in the community, sponsoring a number of activities and involved in numerous worthwhile charities. The United Way is a strong well-structured, well-supported organization which provides a wide range of financial support to approved agencies and organizations in the area. The local Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity are active throughout the year, with special programs and drives during the winter and holiday season.