BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - There could soon be a new place for travelers to stay in Hancock County. Plans have been in the works for a while to bring an upscale, boutique style hotel to Bay Saint Louis, and it may not be long before those plans become a reality.
If all goes according to plan, the empty lot at the corner of Main Street and Beach Boulevard will soon be home to the Coast’s newest hotel. Local developer Cure Land Company is looking to bring “The Pearl Hotel” to Bay St. Louis. The upscale 4-story, multi-million dollar hotel will feature 59 luxury rooms.
Downtown business owner Nancy Moynan is excited about the project.
“What we have now is a wonderful thing. The Bay Town Inn and our local houses that are for rent, but to get those people away from the casinos, and can stay right down here, and spend one or two nights, it can be a great thing," said Moynan.
She says that will mean potential new customers who might buy something at one of her stores or grab a bite to eat at her restaurant.
“Let’s get them here, lets keep them here, for more than a few hours," she said.
The developer is looking to make the project happen by participating in the Mississippi Tourism Rebate Program. An attorney for the developer, P.J. Mauffray, says that inspired a bigger project - in turn, a bigger impact for the city - to meet the program requirements. And to do so, the developer needs the city’s support. Councilman Larry Smith is a firm advocate of the hotel, which is expected to create 127 construction-related jobs, and 50 full time jobs.
“The impact it’s going to have on the city overall, its going to be quite extensive, as we see a ripple effect from this hotel. It’s going to be a huge economic workhorse for us," Smith said.
Smith said the city loses out every year on business to other Coast cities with more lodging options, especially during large events.
“We want to allow this hotel to be a magnet. You know great events are coming up shortly, as you know, Cruisin' the Coast, and that sort of thing. So the hotel, of course, will probably be booked years in advance with those same clients coming back over and over again.”
The city council will vote on whether to support the developer’s participation in the tax rebate program during its next meeting Oct. 3.
Construction is expected to start on the hotel in late October to mid-November.