First look at new coliseum hotel

The regular meeting of the Coliseum Commission drew a large crowd Thursday morning.

That's because elected officials and tourism and business leaders got their first look at artist renderings of the planned 500 room hotel for the Coliseum and convention center.

"Our goal is to take a 4 star hotel to investors" said Tom with the Minneapolis, Minnesota based group Mortenson Development.

Coliseum Director Bill Holmes said now that the conceptual design has been revealed "It's all about the money".

Holmes says a financing package is being worked on behind the scenes. It will likely be a mixture of private capital, government Go Zone money and a possible addition to the existing hotel room tax.

Holmes is convinced if a hotel opens here there will be an economic domino effect "It'll drive the airport. It'll drive restaurants and attractions. Our local people will get excited. I will tell you once this hotel is built hotels will spring up in west Biloxi".

The hotel would be on the old Holiday Inn site, although a deal to acquire the property has not been finalized.

As for the hotel brand name, Holmes says developers are courting some of the hotel industry's biggest companies "You are looking at Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and Radisson".