HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Michael Grimm's big win on America's Got Talent is generating national and international exposure for his hometown of Waveland. And that has tourism leaders in Hancock County smiling ear to ear. They're hoping as his fame grows, so will the notoriety of the place where he grew up.
"He's hot he's a hot product out there," said Beth Carriere, Director of the Hancock County Tourism Bureau. "We've had lots of inquiries as to how to get to him for articles, interviews, photographs, all of those kinds of things from different mediums. The interest is out there cause he's introduced the world to his home. We're certainly happy to share the information people would like."
Carriere is confident Grimm's win can lead to tourism dollars for the whole community.
"Really good fans like to travel where their idols live or what made them who they are. And with all of comments he's made about his home, this area, certainly there is some curiosity out there. Most certainly we'll see a similarity in future years of the Brent Favre syndrome. Then, of course, there's Steven Ambrose and Pete Fountain, and many others from this area."
Favre's hometown in the Kiln still draws Wisconsin Cheese Heads to the area every year, as do Pete Fountain's casino performances in Bay St. Louis.
"He's a very nice young man with a very strong character, so he's a very good ambassador for this area," Carriere said of Grimm. "Hopefully, as his fame grows, so will Mississippi's West Coast."
Carriere said there are plans in the works to hold a welcome home parade and celebration for Grimm, just as soon as he's able to make it back home.