BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A split between the powers behind Beauvoir and the facility's former executive director left a void at the historic property. When a couple of board members and the director stepped down, Beauvoir spent six months without a leader at the helm.
Greg Stewart, who had served as administrator, was elected to lead Beauvoir out from under a division in the ranks.
"I've been passionate about Beauvoir for many years. It was concerning to a lot of us in the Mississippi Division of the Confederate Veterans that the place was not being utilized to its fullest extent," said Stewart.
The former executive director and two board members resigned on March 1, amid some controversy. There was debate over what direction Beauvoir should go. There was also concern about Beauvoir's financial health.
Stewart and the Sons of Confederate Veterans went to work on the numbers. They claim the number of visitors is rising, and they worked to get a handle on costs.
"Getting labor costs down and the gate traffic up was easier than I thought it would be," said Stewart.
Beauvoir will continue to make every effort to attract tourists. That is their bread and butter, after all.
Stewart believes Beauvoir can do a better job of reaching out to local people and encouraging them to appreciate what is in their own back yard.
"One of the things I hear from people on the Coast is that they have not been here in a long time. That's our fault. That's a marketing issue. We need to give them more opportunities to come out here," said Stewart.