Ocean Springs merchants welcome governor's conference visitors

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Merchants in the "City of Discovery" are ready to welcome visitors from the National Governor's Association.

Store owners in downtown Ocean Springs are confident the convention crowd will come their way this weekend.

Bayou Belle is preparing for special guests.

"We're ready for 'em. We're ready," said shop owner, Diane Boyd.

The popular women's clothing store is expecting governors' wives will be browsing and buying this weekend.

"Any time there's a conference or convention in town, we always do, we always do well. Tourists love to stroll our streets, see what's happening in our little coastal community," said Boyd.

Poppy's On Porter is also expecting convention guests.

"I've got everything in here for gift items from five dollars to a thousand dollars," said store owner Gayle Jones.

Along with the unique mix of merchandise available downtown, Jones credits Ocean Springs' small town charm for attracting tourists and conventioneers.

"I think everywhere you go, people are happy. They're smiling. They genuinely want to help you. They want to make you happy. And I think sometimes when you get into the cities, people forget what being a merchant is all about and what brings the people in," said Jones.

One downtown business that already has a connection with the governor's conference is The Candy Cottage. You see, homemade pralines from this business were included in the goodie bags given to everyone attending the conference.

Michelle Gregory anticipates she'll be packing even more gift boxes once the convention crowd gets hooked on the store's tasty treats.

"And what I enjoy is whenever they come over here, it's new customers for us that end up ordering from us for their clients. So, it brings us a good bit of business," said Gregory.

Ocean Springs merchants are expecting a very good weekend.

Merchants in downtown Ocean Springs say they also got a welcome business boost from this week's Mississippi Municipal League convention.

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