Business owners are relying on a good summer season

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Whether visitors plan to stay, play, shop or relax, South Mississippi business owners just hope the summer attracts a crowd. For Sharkheads this will be the first Memorial Day weekend the souvenir shop is open since 2005.

Owner J.J. Pierotich said, "We have invested and leveraged everything we had on this building and we are trying to move forward and to help Biloxi regain itself as a tourist destination."

For the Pierotich family tourism is vital to keeping the business afloat.

"It is a difference of making or breaking for us, but we have what a lot of other beach towns don't have which is the casinos," Pierotich said. "They market all winter long. They bring events and bring people all winter long, so we are able to stay a little more even keel in the winter than a lot of the other beach towns."

Biloxi Shrimping Trip Company does not have that advantage, summer is it for them.

Owner Mike Moore said, "Each year since we had that bad thing happen a couple of years ago, it keeps getting better a little better, better, better. If we keep increasing like we have the past year and a half we will be okay."

But Moore said the weather plays a key role in their success.

"All we need is good weather, that's all we need," Moore said. "Spring break was okay, it could have been a lot better if we would have had better weather. It was a little cool for people to get outside and on the water."

The company does have several trips booked with summer camps, but the rest of the trips will rely on walk up businesses.

"We want them tourists to come on down," Moore said.

Last year 21.3 million people visited Mississippi, which pumped more than $6.1 billion into the economy.

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