(WMC-TV) - Caesars Entertainment Corporation will close Harrah's Tunica before the summer hits.
The property, including three hotels consisting of 1,356 rooms, will cease operations on June 2. Officials based the decision on persistent declines in business and increased competition.
"After exploring every other viable alternative, we have come to the difficult but necessary conclusion to close Harrah's Tunica in an effort to appropriately position our business for the current market opportunity and ensure the long-term viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity," said President of Central Markets and Partnership Development John Payne.
All 1,300 employees will have to find new jobs. In a news release, Caesars Entertainment said they will work to find new positions for as many Harrah's Tunica employees as possible.
"We are extremely appreciative of the enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment made by the employees of Harrah's Tunica to provide outstanding service to our customers. We are determined to provide them with resources to help them in this transition," said Payne.
Tunica County has the second highest unemployment rate in Mississippi.
"It's a large property to maintain and it requires mass crowds to come in, and through this economic downturn we just haven't see those types of crowds here," said R. Scott Barber with Caesars Mid-South.
Harrah's has struggled to regain its business since a major flood brought destruction to the area in May 2011. The river was over eight feet high, even the doors to casinos were blocked by floodwaters.
Business was essentially cut in half from 2010 to 2011. Not only did money stop coming into the casinos, but they were forced to spend money on repairs. It took nearly a month for casinos like Harrah's to reopen their doors.
According to the Caesars Entertainment Corporation's website, the casino-entertainment company began in Reno, Nevada more than 75 years ago. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Harrah's, Caesars, and Horseshoe brand names.
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