Paragon Casino to celebrate 25th anniversary Monday
It seems only yesterday that those “in the know” were telling Earl Barbry Sr. that it was foolish to build a casino in Marksville.
It is too rural. It is too far from an interstate. It does not have enough population or labor pool to support a large entertainment operation.
Barbry didn’t listen and 25 years later the Paragon Casino Resort is quietly saying “I told you so” while loudly celebrating its first quarter of a century.
The official party will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Monday (June 3) in the casino’s Grand Hall. However, the celebration will continue long after that with special 25th anniversary promotions for its customers.
Efforts to get approval for the state’s first land-based casino began in 1991. When the doors opened on June 3, 1994, approximately 3,500 casino patrons were counted within the first hour. Barbry was awarded Avoyellean of the Year the day of the opening for the hundreds of jobs created by the casino opening.
There have been many changes over the past 25 years.
The casino is larger and has become much more than just a building with slot machines and table games.
In fact, the Paragon is known as much for its convention facilities as it is for its gaming opportunities.
Since its early days, the casino has been able to bring noted entertainers to the “too rural site” located “too far away from an interstate.”
A few years ago, the Tunica-Biloxi hired the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut to manage the casino.
In addition to managing the Paragon, the Mohegans own and/or operate a casino in Connecticut, one in Pennsylvania, one in Atlantic City, one in Washington State and are currently constructing a large casino in South Korea.