BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - On August 28, 2005, the Bay Town Inn looked quaint and beautiful. One day later, nothing was left, and owner Nikki Moon was picking up the pieces of her life.
Fast forward eight years, and Moon is pouring everything she has back into her business. She said the decision to rebuild was an easy one to make.
"I loved running a bed and breakfast, owning a bed and breakfast," Moon explained. "I liked working for myself and I liked bringing the guests into the community and showing off our city."
The opening of the new Bay Town Inn will also open other doors as well, not just the ones leading into the rooms that offer spectacular views of the bay and waterfront.
"It means that more people are going to be able to come to Bay St. Louis, and not just come for the day, but to come for the weekend and all week long if they wish," said Tish Williams with the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.
Contractors working on the bed and breakfast see nothing but positives with the opening. One of them is Jeff Harding.
"Well, I'm real excited about what's going on," harding said. "There's still all this construction work that's happening. It's obviously good for local businesses and certainly good for down the road, what's going to happen having more people come here and more tax revenue."
The opening of the Bay Town Inn Bed and Breakfast this coming Friday is so much more than just the opening of another business. It also offers a ray of hope for the people of Bay St. Louis who have suffered through the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, according to Williams.
"It sends a signal to other investors to invest in this waterfront property and to rebuild their businesses," Williams said.
For Nikki Moon, there are other reasons to come back.
"I feel like now is the right time," Moon said. "With the new marina and all the restaurants reopening and the shops doing so well, the time is right."
As the old saying goes, timing is everything.
When it opens this Friday, Bay Town Inn will offer ten suites, as well as plenty of space for business meetings and receptions. The outdoor courtyard also offers a swimming pool.