Magnolia Bluffs Casino signs removedPublished 12:08am Tuesday, March 5, 2013
NATCHEZ — Magnolia Bluffs Casino has taken down its illegal banner signs at the top of Roth Hill Road, but new — legal — temporary signs could be up as soon as this week.
Mayor Butch Brown said he told Casino President Kevin Preston Sunday to take down the illegal banner signs hanging on the gates at the top of Roth Hill Road.
Preston said he is working with City Planner Frankie Legaux to determine what kind of temporary signage can be put at the top of Roth Hill to direct people to the casino.
Legaux told Preston to take down the illegal banner signs early last week, and city code enforcement officer Anita Smith removed the signs Friday after the casino did not take them down. Casino staff put the signs back up Friday but removed them Sunday at the request of the mayor.
Under city code, banner signs must conform to certain size requirements and cannot be displayed for more than 15 days, as they are to promote special events.
Preston contends the casino needs signs at the top of Roth Hill so people will know where the casino is located. Preston said the casino has been inundated with calls from patrons who get to Natchez and do not know the casino is at the bottom of the hill.
Preston and Brown met Monday to discuss possibilities for temporary and permanent signage. Both were tight-lipped about what the permanent signage solution might be.
“I’d hate to put something out there, then that not be what we end up doing,” Preston said. “We went through four or five brainstorming ideas, and I think we will find something that will work for both us and the city.”
Legaux said there are several possibilities for signage that could serve the casino at the top of the hill, including a sandwich board sign, a historic light pole with an attached sign and other signage that is used in other areas of the city.
Brown said he is also considering “trailblazer” signs, which are signs with arrows directing traffic to a business or other facility. Similar signs are found on Canal Street and other areas of the city.
According to the city sign code, the maximum fine for leaving the signs up after notice of violation is $100 a day.
Brown said the city would not fine the casino.
“We’re trying to be as business-friendly as possible and keep a level playing field with (Magnolia Bluffs’) competition,” he said.
That competition is the Isle of Capri Casino, located Under-the-Hill on Silver Street. Although signs on Canal Street give the general direction of gaming, there are no signs at the top of Silver Street directing patrons to the Isle of Capri.