New Point Cadet attractions good for business and bottom line

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Work is continuing at a feverish pace at the Seafood Industry Museum in Point Cadet. The waterfront park across the street is nearly complete. When they open, people will come to visit.

Visitors may also visit a nearby convenience store for some gas or snacks. That has store owner, Sonny Trinh, smiling these days.

"Of course, let's hope they come in and spend a dollar here and a dollar there. It's going to help boost the economy, especially here on the Point. We need a little bit of that," Trinh said.

At Biloxi Tent and Awning, the story might be the same for owner Keith Parker.

"Because of that influx of people, it gives you more exposure. Therefore, you've got more shots at getting more business, that kind of thing," Parker explained.

You can see Margaritaville Casino from the park. After checking out the views from the park, visitors may decide to take the casino out for a spin as well. Doug Shipley is the president of the casino.

"All these wonderful things that are coming on-line is certainly what the casinos need to attract tourism. I mean, a slot machine is a slot machine; a table game is a table game. We all have them but those additional amenities is certainly what the tourism industry looks for," Shipley said.

At the Hook-Up restaurant, officials are hoping the business climbs to new heights with additional visitors. Jerry Adkerson is the general manager.

"It will be great for the whole area. We've been looking forward to the museum and any other development. If you look forward to future development, when Bayview Boulevard gets completed down to the beach, that's going to be the key and will open up the whole Point," Adkerson pointed out.

While most business owners in East Biloxi believe the opening of this seafood industry museum and the adjacent waterfront park will be good for business by possibly increasing the customer base, they say it's good for another reason. According to Parker, the new developments helps him to remember the Point's past.

"It's a re-enforcement of our heritage down here, especially with the seafood museum, so I think that's a positive," said Parker.

Both the museum and the waterfront park should be open by the end of next month. The price tag for the two projects is about $13 million, with all that funding coming from FEMA Hurricane Katrina recovery grants.

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