OS motel getting half million dollar makeover

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Highway 90 motel has seen it's better days. In recent years, its condition had people heading for the exit. That is now changing. Jay Patel manages the property for the family estate that owns it.

"After Katrina, there was some major damage. It should have been fixed, but we found major issues with the plumbing and the interior of the property which hopefully we'll have done within the next 90 days," Patel said. "And by doing that we should be able to sell the property at a later date for a profit for the estate."

Even though the Sapphire is still on the market, upgrades continue. Some rooms haven't been renovated yet. Others have been spruced up, with new counters, phone systems, refrigerators, microwaves and flat screen TV's.

David Keebler is the maintenance supervisors for the Sapphire. All this work is a big job.

"Fixing anything that needs to be fixed basically," Keebler said. "From painting to carpet, the new furniture will be coming, so everything that we can do to upgrade the building, we're doing."

David's mother, Helen Keebler, has worked here since the motel opened 14 years ago. She is looking forward to the renaissance of this property.

"It's going to be nice when it's finished. I love it," Keebler said. "I know when I started here, everything was very nice, and hopefully, it will be that way again."

While all the amenities and creature comforts make it nice for the guests, there's one thing that's even more important for those guests, and that is their safety, according to Patel.

"We've had some issues with safety, so we've put a security system in. We've revamped the whole electric system," Patel said.  "We're doing the fire alarms as we speak. We've had the fire marshal out here and gotten the okay from him."

If plans work out as expected, business at the Sapphire should be okay in the future as well.

Patel said about $300,000 is being spent on infrastructure improvements on the property, with another $200,000 being spent upgrading the 60 rooms at the motel.

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