More Spots Could Mean More Sales For Shrimpers

On top of high fuel prices and low shrimp prices, some shrimpers here at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor believe construction of the Hard Rock Hotel and Resort would be the major blow to their business.

But Friday's partial opening of the bottom floor of the project's parking garage is giving them a little ray of sunshine.

"I think it's great. We've been asking for it. It's been killing business. The casino had hurt the fishermen real bad and it really hurt down here continuously. Plus McElroy's too. But there's no parking and you can't unload your boat or nothing so this is going help tremendously," said shrimper Mike Kopizywa.

To help ease the concerns of these shrimpers, city leaders installed five 15-minute parking spaces.. last month on the east side of the harbor.

However, the heavy construction kept many of those shrimpers docked on the west side out of sight, and they said, out of mind.

But the opening of simply a few spaces will hopefully bring everything back to business as usual.

Gerald Porter drove from Ellisville to find good shrimp for a good price.

He says he's pleased with the new parking options, but offers this suggestion to keep down a little customer confusion on whether or not they can actually park in the garage.

"All it needs is a few signs and it would be great," said Porter.

Hard Rock officials say signs will be made to let customers know it is OK to park in the newly opened area of the garage.