New Gulfport hotel expected to help aid city's tax base
October 1, 2014 at 11:20 PM CDT - Updated July 27 at 6:45 AM
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX)
The new generation five Hampton Inn and Suites located off Old Highway 49 is one of four hotels that will help draw in more traffic to Anchor Plaza.
"Hotel and hospitality marry perfect with the tourist industry that we have here in Gulfport, which is a tremendous part of our economy and tremendously important," said city Economic Development Director David Parker.
Parker worked closely with hotel investors to make this 143 room property a reality.
"We're hoping to develop the area here, develop the city where you see opportunities, where you have places to stay," Director of Revenue Management Marcie Thomas said. "Also, with job opportunities, with the growth that you have coming into your city."
"Since Katrina, these numbers are growing and the development down here is rich, so we saw this as a development to bring these wonderful Hilton and Marriott brands to Gulfport and the Gulf Coast," said Kammie Brantley, who serves as the Area Director of Sales.
Last year, more than five million tourists visited Gulfport. With so much retail construction coming out of the ground, the expectation is that number may grow.
"Until this hotel opened up, we had 31 hotels at 76 percent occupancy rate, which is tremendous. We still have positive room for more hotels, and we have four new ones coming online which is just going to be able to serve more of our tourists," Parker said.
The new hotels are just part of a new shopping corridor near Interstate 10 and Highway 49.
"Anchor Plaza and that general area of the business district near the interstate is one of our most vital, important projects that we're working on right now," Parker said.