Hancock Co. welcomes beach vendors

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The beach vendor activity you find on Harrison County's beach front could soon be found on the beaches in Hancock County.

"From what I understand in Harrison County, it's very viable and there is room to accommodate a lot of things on the beach that we have not," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame.

County leaders are in the process of drafting the ordinances that would allow jet ski rentals, aqua cycles, food and other beach rental businesses to operate in select areas along Hancock County's beach front.

"The Washington Street area would be a perfect place to have some commercial activity. I think once we've finished the harbor and have an expanded beach north of where our pier is going to be, I think that would be a great place to have some commercial activity," explained Fillingame.

He said areas around Coleman Avenue in Waveland, as well as the Lakeshore area, are also viable locations.

"We will never see the activity that Harrison County has on their beaches. Historically, we've never had any, there's never really been a call for it," said Hancock County Supervisor Lisa Cowand.

Cowand said a list of interested vendors is already being complied. She said she has no idea why vendors haven't approached them in the past, but speculates it had to do with a lack of parking and beach going crowds.

"The lack of those concentrations on the beach has probably kept the vendors from being quite as demanding as they would have been if they'd had seen the market they are seeing now," Mayor Fillingame said.

"It's a new day in Hancock County. The beach is coming back. There is no doubt there has been significant growth on the beach front," Cowand said.

County leaders say a lot of improvements have been made to the beach over the years and now is the time to open the doors to vendors.

Hancock County leaders are using beach vendor ordinances from Harrison and Jackson Counties to draft their own.

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