The pool is being drained at the old Paradise Beach, which was once a Ramada Inn on Highway 90 in Long Beach. The furniture is also going as the developers get ready to bulldoze the buildings that have been here since the 60's. "Bein' in front of the building and looking at the Gulf you can see why we wanted the site. It's beautiful and it's one of the widest pieces of property facin' the Gulf along this area and it's a beginnin' of somethin' new for the Mississippi Gulf Coast," says New Orleans developer Rudy Brown.
The 11 acre site will change from a two story hotel to three towers with 12 stories each. Brown says they expect to sell the condos to out of town owners. "And it's gonna bring a lot of taxes to Long Beach which they need and I think the mayor and the council stated they need a new tax base and we're hopin' to give it to 'em." The mayor agrees such a huge project will be a welcome addition to the city's tax rolls. "Most of the citizens seem to be opposed to a casino development here and this is just another avenue for economic development that we hope will work fine for the city," says Mayor Billie Skellie.
Jack Jenkins lives next door to the old hotel. He says 12 stories is a bit high, but he's not real worried. "I think it'll be better than a motel, I surely do," he says. So do the developers, who predict Paradise Beach will launch more such condos in the next few years.
The hotel's furniture and fixtures are being donated to different charities and the city is getting the kitchen equipment and the flag pole.