Build Larger Facility And More Will Come

For the past 12 years, hundreds of kids from key clubs in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee, have gathered at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.

"I come expecting to see old friends, but instead I meet thousands of new friends," said Key Club district governor Druit Gremillion.

Bringing more new friends together could be easier if there was more room.

Convention organizers have heard of the proposed expansion of the convention center, and like the idea.

"It would help us. I mean we've been here before the first expansion and where we had our meetings and then had our break out spaces and workshop sessions for the kids in a much more confined and limited area. The first expansion allowed us to have larger rooms and more comfortable rooms," said Kiwanis district secretary Charlie Ford.

Paying for the expansion would increase the hotel room tax from 10 to 13 percent.

Ford says that's not really a problem because other convention cities already charge between 13 and 18-percent.

He says it's a price worth paying to bring in fresh money.

"People travel. Price of gas is going up. The price of everything is going up, and a three percent additional room tax is, especially on people coming to visit, is an easy way of paying for a much more wonderful facility which would be more beneficial to the community," said Ford.