New east parking lot to go with Coliseum Hotel

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Plans are progressing for the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Hotel.

"There's a lot of momentum going now on the hotel project. Developers who are in town now are going through talking to a lot of people in the community. So, we're getting closer," said Coliseum Director Bill Holmes.

Coliseum Director Bill Holmes says he's cautiously optimistic about the progressing plans for the convention hotel. It's expected to stand just south of the convention center on the grounds of the old Holiday Inn.

"We'll bring in literally tens of thousands of new people, of new jobs, it will float more boats, it will kick a lot more business up. And, that's what we need to do," said Holmes.

Plans include a landscaped walkway from the entrance of the convention center all the way to the hotel lobby. However, since the future site of the hotel is currently used as extra parking, officials have plans for another expansion.

The Coliseum has obtained properties to the east of the convention center on Oakwood Drive which will be converted into a new east parking lot.

Most of the properties were purchased or owned by the coliseum.  At least one was seized through eminent domain. However, officials have decided to leave several homes on the southeast corner of Oakwood Drive alone.

"There's a lot of planning, because if you want it and you want it bad, you have to find a way to get it and get in a way so everybody can come out of this thing a winner," said Holmes who said they have tried to work with residents in the planning.

Building an east parking lot also creates a natural path for future expansion of the convention center if needed.  However, there are still hurdles before any ground is broken.

"It's still all about the capital stack. It's still all about the money. That's what we're working to now," said Holmes.

The coliseum director said laying down the financial plans is still the most important step in moving forward. He hopes to have a full grasp on those plans in the next few weeks.

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