By Jessica Bowman – email
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The summer tourism season wraps up on Labor Day. Despite the oil spill turning some South Mississippi visitors away, officials are optimistic about this holiday weekend and the fall season.
Edgewater Inn sits right off of Highway 90 in Biloxi and it's a hot spot for tourists. Manager Trish Adamic said although oil has threatened their customers, it has not kept them away.
"We've done pretty good," Adamic said. "I mean weekends yeah, we were sold out."
Adamic added that Edgewater Inn has been sold out every weekend since June.
Harrison County Tourism Director, Richard Forester, agrees that the hotels have not suffered a tremendous amount.
"We've had a very good summer all in all. I mean, some segments of our industry have been damaged, but our hotel occupancy has been up. I think a lot of that has to do with our BP folks who came to do work," said Forester.
As for this holiday weekend Executive Director of the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association, Linda Hornsby, confirmed there is still room for more guests on the coast.
"Very few hotels are sold out for more than one night for this weekend," said Hornsby. "There is plenty of casino and non casino rooms available at very reasonable prices."
Although hotels may not have many guests on the books right now, Adamic believes that will change.
"A lot of our Labor Day is normally walk-ins. People come in, you make them a good deal, you get them two days. I think we're going to do pretty good," said Adamic.
While the coast is approaching the end to the summer tourism, season plans for the fall and winter seasons are being finalized. Tourism officials said if numbers continue as they are, upcoming months should be a success.
"So with any luck that will continue and with the BP money that is coming through the Tourism Commission going to the events that are going to be held now through October, hopefully we'll have some good momentum that will continue," Forester said.
BP has granted the Tourism Commission 15 million dollars. The commission has plans of using that money towards many events that make up a fall festival to lure tourists to our area.