Condo towers a big part of coast lodging industry

By David Elliott - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The huge condo towers that line the beach along Highway 90 are competing with traditional hotels and the casino industry. More and more visitors are looking at short term rental plans at the condo units when checking in for a weekend stay on the coast.

"Our occupancy rate right now is running around 90 percent," said Connie Bartenbach with Rental Resources, a company that manages rental properties.

Condo tower management companies have made a conscious effort to keep rates as low as possible to compete against other resort destinations on the Alabama coast and in the Florida panhandle.

In spite of visible Katrina damage and a sour economy, the condo units are drawing tourists from a wide radius.

"We cover about a 700 mile area from Texas through Tennessee and down into Florida," Bartenbach said.

The mom and pop motels were washed away by Katrina, and the casinos are here to stay. Now it appears that the condo towers are also going to be a major player in South Mississippi's hotel industry.

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