Pearl River Resort
|Pearl River Resort|
|Address||Highway 16 West
Choctaw, Mississippi 39350
|No. of rooms||1,074|
|Signature attractions||Dancing Rabbit Golf Club
Geyser Falls Water Theme Park
|Owner||Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians|
Pearl River Resort is a gaming resort located in Choctaw, Neshoba County, Mississippi. It is owned and operated by the federally recognized Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The resort includes two casinos, Silver Star Hotel & Casino and Golden Moon Hotel & Casino; a Dancing Rabbit Inn near the casinos; Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, an award-winning golf course designed by Jerry Pate; Geyser Falls Water Theme Park; and a spa.
These casinos are the only Native American gaming facilities in the state of Mississippi, as the Mississippi Choctaw are the only federally recognized tribe in the state. When approved for opening in 2000, these were the only casinos in the state that were not required to have all gaming take place on floating structures. In the aftermath of extensive damage to waterfront gaming from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the state legislature changed some of its rules related to private gaming facilities.
The first casino, Silver Star, opened in 1994 on tribal lands near Philadelphia, Mississippi. The tribe had the Golden Moon constructed directly across the road in 2002. Golden Moon features a curving hotel structure that rises to a globe-shaped top. The Mississippi Choctaw are the only federally recognized tribe in the state and thus the only tribe authorized to operate a gaming facility on its reservation lands.
In reaction to a downturn in the economy, in January 2009 Tribal Chief Beasley Denson announced that the Golden Moon would have reduced hours, operating on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. The tribe laid off 570 workers, none of whom was a tribal member. In addition to the recession, the facility had new competition from gaming in Alabama developed by the federally recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
The Mississippi Choctaw invested some $71 million in renovations to the casino and hotel to increase its appeal and freshen the facility. After reopening the Golden Moon in January 2015, the tribe said that it employed some 2400 to 3000 workers in total at its facilities, the majority of whom are tribal members. They need more workers during the busy summer months, when visitors come to the resort water park and more people play golf.