BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Following a formal ribbon cutting and some finishing touches, the new Biloxi Visitors Center is now officially open. The $13 million center not only offers information about area tourist attractions, it also provides an in-depth lesson about local history.
"Opened officially at eight o'clock this morning. Nothing but good comments so far," said Visitors Center Manager Ed Miles.
He spent Monday morning welcoming guests to the new facility.
While tourists can pick-up brochures there, that's just the beginning. Multi-media displays educate and entertain.
"By 1904, Biloxi was the seafood capital of the world," echoed the voice of the narrator, as a black and white film showed historic scenes of Biloxi from decades ago.
"I think it's gorgeous," said visitor Nancy Ames from Oklahoma, "They did beautiful. I have thoroughly enjoyed it."
Visitors aren't the only ones enjoying the new center. We talked with several locals checking it out.
"I think it's great. I think it's beautiful. I've been looking forward to it and I think it will attract a lot of attention," said Biloxi resident Jean Kendall.
Jim and Gaye Craig just recently moved to Biloxi from the Midwest.
"We've been waiting a week, watching for it to open," said Jim.
"Oh, it's amazing. It is so cool. The building is amazing, the stuff they have in there," added his wife, Gaye.
The Bolden family from Peoria, Illinois certainly enjoyed the new visitors center. They just arrived for a vacation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"Today is our first day in the city and we wanted to educate our children about the history of Biloxi. So we came here and it's free," said Marcia Bolden.
"I liked hearing about the history of Biloxi," said her son, Henry.
"I learned there's a lot of seafood here, so I really liked it," added her daughter, Addison.
A group of teachers from Nativity BVM was among the opening day visitors. The educational exhibits will likely be field trip destinations.
"An area I expect to see many children in, many students in. And I'm sure teachers will certainly enjoy it when they get to the part of their lessons when they're talking about the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Ed Miles.