Walmart brings the Pass back from the brink

By Doug Walker – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The Pass Christian Walmart has been open for a little more than two months, but has already made a huge impact on the city. Pass Christian has been on the verge of bankruptcy in the four years since Katrina struck.

"This is the big horse right here," Mayor Chipper McDermott said of Walmart. "This is something that doesn't draw from the local, it draws from the entire area, And that's what we needed was some type of business that drew not just from Pass Christian, but from the area right here.

"Also, it's on the beach, which is good for us for future businesses on the beach."

Every time an item whizzes by the store's scanners, it means a more solid and prosperous future for the Pass.  But it's not just a matter of dollars and cents.  It's also a matter of bringing a city back from the brink.

Brian Thomas is the Walmart district manager.

"It's one of the corporate cultures that we've always had with Walmart is to try and put back into the community that we serve, so it was extremely important to get this store back," Thomas said. "We couldn't happier to be a part of the community of Pass Christian."

While the sales numbers and the sales tax revenues are good so far, the mayor sees even brighter days ahead.

"We want to do better and so do they, but it's going to take a little while to go ahead and get established. And it's the time of year when people are going to be doing a little extra shopping anyway." McDermott said.

And if those shoppers keep coming and spending, getting better should not be a problem for the recovering city.

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