The Tivoli rose to prominence in the roaring 20s. According to a newspaper account, "it opened in a whirl of dancing, a kaleidoscope blaze of color, and a musical festival of barbaric jazz."
Today, the Tivoli is a shell of its former self. The grande dame is rotting away.
Gulf Coast Investments believes it can be saved. The development group has a contract to buy the six-and-a-half acre Tivoli property, restore it, and reopen it as a boutique hotel. Surrounding the exterior of the hotel would be two condominium towers. But developers say that can only happen if they can move the Biloxi Yacht Club.
That's where the Secretary of State gets involved in this story.
The investment group thinks it can recapture history by building a new yacht club at its original location over the water. So for the past three months, developers have been negotiating with the Secretary of State. The problem, they say, is Eric Clark's office doesn't favor buildings over the Mississippi Sound. A Clark spokesman wouldn't elaborate on the negotiations.
A representative of Gulf Coast Investments told WLOX News that without moving the yacht club, the Tivoli project could be in serious trouble. And east Biloxi could lose another chance to turn back the hands of time.
In 2003, the Mississippi Heritage Trust called the Tivoli Hotel one of the state's 10 most endangered historic places. Its owner said this was the third time he had a contract to sell the Tivoli. This contract has another eight months left on it before it expires.