Hotel activity booming in Hancock County

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Construction on hotels in Hancock County has tourism leaders jumping for joy.

The Bay Town Inn Bed and Breakfast opened on the beach a few months ago. The Silver Slipper Casino has a hotel going up, and the Coast Inn in Waveland is now undergoing a major renovation.

WLOX News found out why the work is so important for the lodging industry.

Guests of the Coast Inn, in Waveland will soon bunk in brand new hotel rooms. Workers are busy renovating 75 rooms .

"There is no question I needed to upgrade. We did the best we could with what little money we had after the storm. We really wanted to upgrade," said Bill Lady, Owner of the Coast Inn.

One of the rooms is already completed.

"Completely gutted down to the sheet rock, we're doing new texture on the sheet rock , new carpet. We're having the furniture made just for this property . We're putting in flat screen TV's, refrigerators, microwaves everything is new."

The hope is to become more competitive in a tight hotel market. Right now there are only about 800 rooms available in Hancock County. When the Silver Slipper Casino's hotel opens at the end of the year, that number will jump to about 1,000 rooms.

"That is just going to be a magnificent plus to having our rooms met," said Myrna Green with the Hancock County Tourism Bureau.

Green says the hotel activity the County is seeing is a good thing but, admits more will be needed in the near future. The new sports complex that will be built in Kiln could bring tournaments that could fill every room.

"We need more, but this is the best start we've had in a long time. In many years we didn't have anything on the horizon. Now we have one complete, one under construction, one under renovation. That's the biggest positive."

Renovation work at the Coast Inn should be finished by mid March.

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