PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of people turned out Thursday for a liquidation sale at the landmark LaFont Inn in Pascagoula. The hotel owners are selling everything inside the building, which will soon be demolished to clear the way for new development.
Many of the buyers who showed up Thursday were looking for a memento, something to remember the landmark hotel.
After all, for decades the LaFont was synonymous with fine dining and hospitality in Jackson County. Those who stood in line for their chance to shop the sale said they're sad to see it go.
"We've eaten here many times. My son and daughter in law had their wedding reception here," sale customer Linda Cumbest remembered. "It's an icon in Pascagoula. Hate to see the building torn down."
Buyers found everything you'd expect at a hotel sale from color TVs, to beds, to tons of kitchen ware. All the items were marked to move. This event, described in the brochure as "like a giant garage sale," will continue for 30 days or until everything's gone.
Dr. Jack Hoover was among those buying some remembrance. He's a former owner of the landmark hotel.
"It's sad. I feel like crying a little bit," Dr. Hoover said. "I just hate to see LaFont go. It's been an icon here. Doug Fontaine built this place up, and it's really been an icon in Pascagoula."
While some folks were shopping for their church, or maybe a restaurant, a good number were just curious, looking for mementos from this familiar spot.
"I think that's the biggest thing. People want a little souvenir of the LaFont Inn," customer Danny Glaskox said.
John Hunter's group managed to find a few bargains. They admit this place will be missed.
"It's kind of sad. I remember Mr. and Miss Fontaine operating here for many years. And it's an institution in the community that will be missed and we don't have anything comparable. But you know how that goes, time moves on," Hunter said.
No specific plans have been announced yet for the new development on that site once the old hotel is torn down.
Click here to view more pictures of some of the items for sale, or visit http://www.nclsales.com/LaFontInnHotelLiquidation.html.