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Universal Music Group to Build Unique $1.2B Hotel in Biloxi, Miss.

Thu October 22, 2020 - Southeast Edition
Music Business Worldwide

The UMUSIC hotel in Biloxi will be built on a 266 acre property that was once the gem of the Gulf Coast. (UMUSIC rendering)
The UMUSIC hotel in Biloxi will be built on a 266 acre property that was once the gem of the Gulf Coast. (UMUSIC rendering)

Construction on the $1.2 billion UMUSIC Broadwater hotel complex in Biloxi, Miss. – the first of Universal Music Group's recently announced "music-based experiential hotel properties" – will commence next year and will be completed in 2023.

UMG revealed earlier in October that it's launching a series of hotels as part of a previously announced joint venture with entertainment impact investment group, Dakia U-Ventures LLC.

The new construction timeline was announced by Robert Lavia, chairman of Dakia U-Ventures, at a press conference in Mississippi the second week of October, where he said that entertainment for guests at the 266-acre property will include virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and holograms.

UMUSIC Broadwater also will have a 12,000-capacity music venue.

Biloxi's UMUSIC Broadwater is first of three locations for the hotel series, with other locations to be announced for Atlanta and Orlando. There also are plans for additional locations across the United States and globally.

On hand for the press conference was Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich, who suggested that the hotel project is "the largest tourism project proposed in Mississippi."

The enterprise will create 1,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs.

Lavia added that the new hotel complex will serve "as a creative hub for people [in] the creative arts industries", in addition to housing incubator programs "to support engineers, digital startups and the music industry, as well as other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create a career in the music and entertainment space."

He added, "Our intention is to create a world-class facility to bring some of the greatest talent both regionally and internationally and act as a platform for local talent to kick off their careers. We'll be working with schools and the community for exploration and discovery of these local talents from musicians to songwriters to engineers to video production and more. We're just not a tourist destination but a producer of new and authentic talent and content."

He said his UMUSIC Broadwater will employ "the most state-of-the-art technologies to entertain our guests, from virtual reality to augmented reality to artificial intelligence and holograms and much more. Wherever you look, you'll be wowed."

Lavia also assured those at the press conference that the hotel complex will utilize technology to focus on security and make certain all the latest protocols for coronavirus are in place to protect guests, staff and talent.

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