Instead of honoring a person in this space, we are honoring a business, one that’s almost as important to its location as any person could be. The Beau Rivage Hotel, located on the beach in Biloxi, Miss., was completely devastated, as was everything else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.

Katrina’s storm surge, with waves more than 30 feet tall coupled with 140 mph winds, left its impact on all persons and buildings in the storm’s path. “The Beau,” as it is affectionately known in these parts, was not saved from major damage from the hurricane.

Today the Mississippi Gulf Coast struggles to come back from that pounding. Assisting in this effort, standing tall and unprotected, is the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino. This is the tallest building in the state of Mississippi and was reopened exactly one year after Katrina came ashore.

Offering almost 1,800 hotel rooms; 85,000 square feet of gaming areas; a 1,500-seat theater; 50,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting spaces; spas, salons, and golf, the return of this jewel has meant much to the still-recovering citizens of southern Mississippi.

The importance of providing not just valued employment but also tax revenue to local and state government cannot be overstated. We salute MGM Mirage, operators of Beau Rivage, and the management and staff for a classic American example of putting back together what nature broke.