Cruisin' the Coast numbers soar

Businesses along the coast hang signs welcoming cruisers.
Businesses along the coast hang signs welcoming cruisers.

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Cruisin' the Coast numbers have soared this year. Registration numbers have already set records.

Beth Carriere said, "Cruisin' the Coast has now surpassed every record that we ever set in the number of registered cars."

Last count, Harrison County Tourism Director Beth Carriere said, 5,878 registered antique cars are cruising the coast line. Just a few hundred cars shy of the longtime hopeful record--6,000 participants.

She said people from 39 different states and three different countries are here showing off their cruisers. She said that makes for a phenomenal event and an economic impact for local businesses.

Bacchus Food and Drink owner Jourdan Nicaud said, "Our numbers have almost doubled this weekend. It's been absolutely unbelievable."

The restaurant sits in the heart of downtown Gulfport. This is its second year in operation during Cruisin' the Coast and Nicaud said businesses could not be better.

"It was our best day without a doubt. They are everywhere. Cruisers are all over the place. It floods our Gulf Coast and makes it a better place where more money is around and business has boomed," Nicaud added.

Carriere said final studies show the economic impact of this one week event last year, brought the state $21 million.

Carriere said, "This year, with 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 more people attending, it will prove to be a much greater number. The state of Mississippi, $21 million, the local economy $19 to $20 [million] in a week."

By Saturday the number of registered cars will have surpassed their goal of 6,000 goal. Carriere said those numbers are just from the registered cars. She said she has seen nearly the same amount of non-registered cars on the coast for this year's event. By the way, the countries besides the U.S. that have registered cars here are Canada and Sweden.

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