COPY-Affordable Hurricane Insurance Hard To Find For Treasure Bay - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/17/05

COPY-Affordable Hurricane Insurance Hard To Find For Treasure Bay

Bernie Burkholder keeps insisting the safest bet for Treasure Bay casino is to move his barge closer to Highway 90. That would give it a buffer from storm surge.

But so far, the Secretary of State's office has blocked that move, because Treasure Bay owes more than a million dollars in tidelands rent to the state.

So Treasure Bay is in a bind. It can't move away from the storms. And it can't afford hurricane insurance.

"I would say there are people here that are doing praying, and there definitely is some gambling going on here," Burkholder said.

But not the kind of gambling that has anything to do with slot machines. This gamble is a high stakes risk that could cost Treasure Bay a pirate's treasure ransom.

Burkholder admitted, "It's certainly one of the greatest gambles" his company has ever taken. "I can't argue with that."

Burkholder won't ever forget how his casino became a battering ram for past storms. He has $34 million in repair bills to constantly remind him of Treasure Bay's precarious position in the Mississippi Sound.

"I don't think we've seen certainly anything close to what it could be. But we've had more than our share of misfortune with hurricanes," he said.

In 1998, Hurricane Georges hit Treasure Bay hard. Five years later, Tropical Storm Isidore and Hurricane Lili were even more devastating.

"It was a mess," Burkholder remembered, as he described the downed awnings, and the broken walkways that littered his property.

Inside the casino, damage from back-to-back 2003 storms was just as devastating.

"Literally, you could stand in the middle of the casino and look at the Gulf of Mexico. So it was not a good situation," the executive said.

Burkholder won't forget those scenes. Insurance companies won't forget the bills. They've told Treasure Bay they have no interest in providing affordable coverage for a casino with Treasure Bay's track record during hurricanes.

So for the second straight summer, Treasure Bay may go into hurricane season without hurricane insurance.

"If it does happen, I think the one thing we've proven over the years is we're survivors," said Burkholder. "We're going to get reopened, build and come back some way."

On Tuesday, the Secretary of State's office confirmed that settlement talks have recently been held between the state and the casino. So, there's a chance the tidelands issue could be settled out of court, and Treasure Bay could move forward with its plans to move its barge out of harm's way.

by Brad Kessie

  • NewsMore>>

  • John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    John Tyler receives donation for local lawyer to help upgrade helmets

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:14:50 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
    The John Tyler Lions always seem to look sharp in their uniforms. But thanks to East Texas lawyer Keith Miller, the Lions will look better and play safer. Helmets that advertise lowering the impact of hits, and possibly reduce the amount of concussions, come with a hefty price-tag. Miller's donation of 7,500 dollars, will go to help the lions cover that cost. "Keith Miller's been a big sponsor of John Tyler High School football program for years now.  I know it's...More >>
  • Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Red Zone Rundown: Kilgore looks to a pair of Bulldogs speed to up offense

    Friday, August 18 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-08-19 03:08:11 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
    The last time we talked about the Kilgore Bulldogs, quarterback Buddy Jackson and wide receiver Jonathan Shepherd were apart of the 800-meter relay team that won gold at the 2017 state track meet. But today they are back in the pads, and looking to turn their speed into touchdowns.  Competing in District 9-4A, Kilgore has always had a strong run game that helped them become the 2016 District Champs. However, in order to surpass their opponents this season, including Carthag...More >>
  • Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

    Friday, August 18 2017 10:43 PM EDT2017-08-19 02:43:21 GMT
    Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)Sample of water taken from sink inside Arp Junior High School. (Source: KLTV News Staff)

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>

    Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High school, the district’s superintendent says “it looks like lake water.” 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly