Tourists flock to Mississippi beaches, despite oil - - The News for South Mississippi

Tourists flock to Mississippi beaches, despite oil


By Meggan Gray - email | bio

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Beach vendors are hoping a lot people decide to spend their Memorial Day weekend on our beaches, despite the oil in the Gulf.

The start of the summer season is usually a busy time, but this year, no one knows what to expect. But as Meggan Gray found out, some people aren't letting the uncertainty ruin their vacation plans.

Friday morning, water lapped calmly at the sandy shoreline. Overhead, the sun shone brightly on Biloxi's pristine beach. It was a typical summer day in South Mississippi.

Claudia Gibson said she wants to remember this moment.

"How can you not want to take pictures of this beautiful coast?" Gipson asked. "It's beautiful."

Gibson and her husband are visiting South Mississippi from Georgia. They say what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico didn't scare them away at all.

"No, didn't stop us. I wasn't too concerned. Well, of course I'm very concerned about the oil spill, but no, I didn't - It didn't bother me that much."

News of the impending oil didn't keep Ruby and Larry Dunn away either.

"We checked it out, kept an eye on what's going on down here, and decided we were coming on down and going for it. And we're glad we did," Ruby said.

Beach vendors hoping for a strong start to the summer season are happy people like the Dunns decided to keep their plans to come to South Mississippi. Several vendors told WLOX the negative publicity on the oil spill is killing their business.

Larry Dunn said he can understand why.

"Sure not going to help it any, I don't think. But I just tell people to come on down. I'm here. I'm sitting here looking at it. It's beautiful."

Looking out over the water from her lawn chair, Ruby added, "You don't see, you don't think. You just enjoy it, and have a good time. The weekend's here and it's just relax and enjoy it, have a good day at the beach."

For now, that's all vendors want. And they will be set up, ready and waiting for whoever comes Memorial Day weekend.

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