Many hotels managers are hoping to see a boost in bookings for this weekend. Friday night, visitors were expected to arrive for Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break. Final preparations were underway for the second round of spring break festivities.
The Holiday Inn on Highway 49 was gearing up for guests who are coming for Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break weekend.
"We'll have more folks at the front desk to be able to give more service. All the departments, housekeeping especially, largest department in the hotel, will staff up," said Holiday Inn Gulfport General Manager Laird Siegel.
Siegel said only 85-percent of the rooms are booked so far. Last spring break weekend, the hotel was sold out.
"I think weather might have had a little to do with it, but more of it being over a two-week period," said Siegel. "It's a good event. This year I think it's a little bit off of years past, spread out over a two week period. Last year, there was more of an impact just on one weekend. Last year, we sold nearly out the entire weekend, and this year's it's been closer to 75-80 percent."
While no one knows for sure how big the crowd will be this weekend, Club Envy in Gulfport wants to make sure the music keeps spinning.
Now that a performance by rapper Lil Boosie has been canceled, a promoter for the night club said spring break will kick-off with Ladies Night Friday, along with concerts featuring artists from Epic and Universal Records and AMS Music Entertainment.
"The controversy over bringing an epic concert to the coast kind of failed on us, but we're licking our wounds and making up for that and trying to make the best of what's left in the weekend. We had a lot of things surrounding activities as far as volleyball, games on the beach," said Alvin Mays.
Mays said he prefers to have one spring break event next year.
"We do want more African Americans to feel more comfortable coming to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and using our beaches and being welcomed at the same time. So we're hoping we can actually collaborate together with the promoters who did the event last week so we can make one big weekend in a group effort," said Mays. "The key to it all is to get people to come down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to stimulate the economy."
Both Gulfport and Biloxi police will have extra officers on duty this weekend to answer service calls and help with traffic control.
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