BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The iconic White House Hotel in Biloxi is four days away from reopening for the first time in decades. For the people who live near the hotel, they say it also means a new beginning for their neighborhood.
Beth LeBlanc likes to keep her yard in pristine condition. From her back yard you can see the White House Hotel. The lawn there is now pristine, as well.
"I love to see it re-born. We've lived here for 20 years, and so we've lived here the entire time it was a wreck. And it's nice to see the neighborhood revitalized and they're doing a beautiful job and I can't wait to see it open," LeBlanc exclaimed.
Matthew Sugar can see the hotel from his front porch. For him, the view is much better these days.
"I love the fact that they're actually doing something with the property. And it's actually going to be something the community can be proud of," Sugar said.
Joyce Kotulski has called Morrison Avenue home for 40 years. She describes the White House one way.
"It is unbelievable. It is so really unique and it's just something that we never expected and I think it will be a Biloxi landmark from now on," Kotulski beamed.
While the people who live near the White House say they're ecstatic it's about to re-open, ecstatic that this once dilapidated structure is coming back to life, they also say it brings back a sense of history.
Margaret Baltar remembers days gone by.
"I used to swim in the swimming pool, and as a family we came to the dining room at the White House to eat, and so it's like a dream come true. It's just beautiful."
Another is Sheila Burke. "I'm thrilled that they're bringing the White House back because this was the hotel my family always took me to as a child, and this is how it looked when I was a little kid," Burke recalled.
Some neighbors feel the re-opening will mean some change in the area, but with an added benefit. That's the opinion of Ronnie Kohler.
"As long as it doesn't create a noise problem or some sort of mechanical problem, everything should be great and it should increase the value of the properties," Kohler said.
Value and beauty, all rolled into one.
An invitation only VIP party will be held Thursday night at the White House. The hotel opens to the public Friday morning.