– Southland Gaming Racing acquired its formal casino license this week from the Arkansas Racing Commission. The commission’s approval allows for expanded gaming operations as permitted under the 2018 gaming expansion amendment approved by Arkansas voters. David Wolf, president and general manager of Southland for Delaware North, said: “Southland is opening up to 40 live table games, including blackjack, craps and roulette. This new gaming offering has created over 100 jobs here in West Memphis.”

The blackjack, craps and roulette tables are available on the casino’s first floor and the racing mezzanine’s second floor. Southland has the only “Blaze Roulette” tables in the mid-south region. Blaze roulette tables have an LED lightbox beneath the gaming surface displaying animations, game-state prompts and winning numbers.

The license also allows for full-fledged casino operations, including the expansion of slot machines. With 2,050 machines on the casino floor, Southland has the most machines of any casino in the Mid-South.

The launch of table games comes after Delaware North, which owns and operates Southland, announced plans in January for a $250 million expansion of the gaming and entertainment destination to include a new casino complex and high-rise hotel. Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer, with completion of the casino complex and parking garage expected 12 months later and hotel tower about six months after that.

– The Memphis office of Financial Federal Bank has arranged the $24,325,000 acquisition financing of Stadium Suites Apartments in Columbia, South Carolina. The dedicated student housing complex is near the University of South Carolina and was built in 2004. The property has 264 units with 924 beds available for rent. Rick Wood and Jon Van Hoozer of Financial Federal Bank arranged the 10-year fixed rate loan.

– A 50-foot long, 10-foot tall MEMPHIS sign on Mud Island’s south field will welcome visitors to Memphis this summer. The sign, designed by local artist Tylur French and Youngblood Studio, will anchor new additions to Mud Island Park during its 38th summer season. The island will stay open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Admission to the island is free. Admission to the Mississippi River Museum is $10 for adults and $8 for youth ages 5-11. Children four and younger are admitted free. The MEMPHIS sign will be on the south field and will be visible from both downtown and the I-40 bridge. The installation is made possible by We Are MemphisCity of Memphis and the Downtown Memphis Commission in honor of the “New Century of Soul” Bicentennial anniversary of Memphis and Shelby County. It will be installed by May 22.

– Peer Power Foundation will hold its third annual Big River Crossing Half Marathon + 5K, November 2, 2019. The half marathon allows participants to cross the Arkansas-Tennessee state line via the Big River Crossing. Race proceeds will benefit Peer Power Foundation, a Memphis-based nonprofit that recruits and trains high-performing high school and college students to tutor and mentor their peers.


– Wastewater discharge may not seem like a fascinating topic, but when it involves the Memphis Regional Megasite in Haywood County, there’s a lot at stake — a huge potential for jobs, millions of dollars, and some challenging environmental questions. Toby Sells tells the compelling story in the Memphis Flyer here.

– Mitch Graves, a 30-year veteran of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, has been named chief executive of West Cancer Center & Research InstituteRead the story in the Memphis Business Journal here.

– The Memphis-Cancun flight by Vacation Express is coming back to Memphis International Airport in May. Read Wayne Risher’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– Desiree Stennett writes in The Commercial Appeal about the One Beale project and how Chance Carlisle is taking forward his father’s vision. Read it here.

Got an event? Send your info to Samuel X. Cicci at [email protected]insidememphisbusiness.com.

– Dr. James Lawson & the Future of MemphisClayborn Temple will host its fourth and final event in the 2019 In This Place speaker series April 5 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Professor and civil rights activist Rev. Lawson will share stories of his work and experiences, how they apply to Memphis, and what communities can do to ensure a better future for the city. Admission is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP here.

– Margarita Festival: Vote on the city’s best margarita makers. Ticket ($34) includes entry to the event and 15 margarita samples, plus food, cash bar, and entertainment. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis. May 11, 3-6 p.m., Fourth Bluff Park. More info here.


Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– Financial Federal Bank added Angie BindbeutelSalima Hajiani, and Tyler Wilson to support its commercial and residential loan portfolio growth.

– Roc Johnson joined inferno as director of digital services.

– Wolf River Conservancy appointed Mark Jordan as director of development.

– Ross Peters, head of school at St. George’s Independent School, was named to the National Association of Independent Schools’ board of trustees.

– Obsidian PR promoted Taylor Jolley to account executive.

– Candace Steele Flippin joined the Youth Villages Board of Directors.

– B&K LLC, a local leading plumbing solutions supplier and part of Mueller Industries, recently rebranded to BK Products.

– Napa Café owner Glenda Hastings (pictured) received the 2019 Top Tiger Award for Success in Business.

– Mercedes-Benz of Collierville has been honored by the luxury automobile brand as a Best of the Best for 2018, recognizing it among the upper echelon of Mercedes-Benz dealerships nationally. The Best of the Best Program distinguishes dealers based on exemplary performance in sales and  service as well as excellence in operations and customer experience. Mercedes-Benz of Collierville was named Best of the Best Gold Laurel, placing it among the top 10 percent  of dealerships in the United States. Mercedes-Benz of Collierville has won gold Best of the Best awards every year since its opening.


Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player is Kevin Woods, market president, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. Former executive director, Memphis’ Workforce Investment Network. B.S., Computer Engineering; M.S., Business Administration, U of M. Member, Leadership Memphis Executive Class of 2014; Leadership Tennessee class of 2017. “40 Under 40,” Memphis Business Journal. Board experience includes BRIDGES, REACH Memphis, Shelby County School Board, and tnAchieves Advisory Council.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.


“The greatest challenge to the Memphis Regional Megasite is the lack of a wastewater discharge plan.”

– Bob RolfeTennessee’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, quoted in the Memphis Flyer’s story updating the status of the MRM. Read the story here.