Oil spill taking its toll on Beauvoir - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Oil spill taking its toll on Beauvoir


By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A statue of Jefferson Davis stands quietly on the pristine grounds of Beauvoir. But it's been a little too quiet since the coastal crisis began in the Gulf more than a month ago. 

Tourists do trickle in to view the home, but not nearly at the rate they once did.

"Our business manager has done the figures and we are anywhere from nine to 15 percent off from where we were last year, depending on the week," Beauvoir Director Rick Forte said. "He does it weekly, so there's no doubt about it, it's a big influence on our tourism." 

Randy and Sue Casserleigh are visiting from Florida.  They came for a visit, despite what they heard and read.  

"Right now, it's beautiful. There's no odor, there's no evidence of any oil," Casserleigh said. "But we were concerned, because the media out there has told everybody there's oil." 

That's a feeling shared by Forte, who spends his mornings greeting small groups of visitors.

"The media has to report the news, but somebody in Cincinnati or up that way, they hear oil spill and they don't see what we see out here today, how beautiful it is." 

Since the April 20th accident in the Gulf of Mexico, Beauvoir has lost thousands of dollars in tourist revenues. Forte said those mounting losses have Beauvoir leaders considering their legal options.

"It takes my board approval, and we have a board meeting scheduled in June. And I will discuss it with them and take it from there, but our attorneys are pointed that way."

Forte hopes the spill is capped and cleaned up soon, because that may be the only thing that points to better days ahead at Beauvoir.

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