Reviews positive on new Jones Park and Gulfport Harbor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Reviews positive on new Jones Park and Gulfport Harbor

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Years of planning and construction went into the new Jones Park and adjoining Gulfport Harbor. Now visitors are giving the $35 million facilities favorable reviews. Years of planning and construction went into the new Jones Park and adjoining Gulfport Harbor. Now visitors are giving the $35 million facilities favorable reviews.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Mayor George Schloegel calls it the front entrance to the City of Gulfport. Years of planning and construction went into the new Jones Park and adjoining Gulfport Harbor. So, was it worth the wait?

Many would agree the $35 million project has become a centerpiece for the city. With near perfect weather on this November day, WLOX News found plenty of visitors enjoying the new attraction.

Whether it's the hundreds of new boat slips, the large covered pavilion or the abundant green space, the project is attracting people.

"This is going to be a well used community asset. I guarantee it," said Dan Ehrenbeit from Ohio.

He and his wife Linda are visiting their daughter, who recently moved to South Mississippi.

"It took us 16 hours to get here. So, we're not getting back in the car for anything. We're walking everywhere today," said Linda Ehrenbeit.

Their walk around Jones Park and the harbor left them impressed.

"You guys may be living in the gem of America," he said.

Families with young children flock to the playground in Jones Park. It's where we found four-year-old Jacelyn Ross.

"We come down here a few times a month," said her dad, Richard Ross of Saucier. "They've done a great job with this park. We love what they've done the past few months."

Former Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and current Mayor George Schloegel, both envisioned this project as a gateway to the City of Gulfport. They wanted something that citizens and visitors could be proud of.

"When we build it back, we want to build it bigger and better and stronger. When you come here today, and if you knew what it looked like in 2005, the difference is shocking," said City of Gulfport Spokesman Ryan LaFontaine.

Dan and Gayle Hagan give the project two thumbs up.  The snowbirds from Kentucky may have discovered their new winter home.

"I like it. Like what I see. We may be making a nest down here in the wintertime," said Dan Hagan.

The only complaints we heard came from two boat owners who are unhappy they can't access the harbor boat ramp during the weekends of big music concerts and often times for several days prior to such events.

City Spokesman Ryan LaFontaine said that is an unfortunate inconvenience, but when the big shows arrive, boat ramp access must be blocked off to accommodate setting up for the event. He said during those times, boaters and fishermen are directed to the nearby Courthouse Road boat ramp.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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