Tourists share thoughts on Coast recovery

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Out-of-towners spending their long Labor Day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast enjoyed a final day of relaxation before heading home. Some visitors who've been coming to our area for years talked about their impressions of the coast's Katrina recovery.

Bill Moffett and his family went shopping for souvenirs to help them remember their Biloxi vacation. The Fairhope, Alabama resident said he remembers what the coast was like before Katrina.

"I remember all the houses and now they're all gone," Moffett said. "But I see a lot of activity along the beach. I've been very impressed that it looks like things are progressing."

Tourists said they were impressed by how great the beach looks. They say many sections are cleaned up and look just as good as before the hurricane.

Tina Toups lives in Dallas, Texas.

"The beach is always there. I mean that's what you come to the coast for is the white beaches," she said. "The beaches are getting back to normal. You see the sand coming and you can go out. We actually went out to Ship Island and the progress out there is just awesome."

However, a local beach vendor said most tourists are telling him the beach alone isn't enough to keep them entertained.

Pat Pigott, owner of Get Wet, said, "Everybody says it's coming along kind of slow and we miss a lot of people because they pass us by to go to Florida because it's nothing for children to do off the beach. All our little water slides and water parks and the putt-putt golf is no longer here."

As their Labor Day getaway came to an end, the Luckett family said they were sad to leave and go home to Jackson.

"We were out picking up sea shells and all. I mean we had a blast for the time we were down. So unfortunately we had to leave," said Luckett. "We hope to come back next month actually."

A few visitors said they were so saddened by the slow pace of Gulf Coast recovery and were too emotional to talk on camera.

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