BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - You know Cruisin' the Coast is here from one look at Highway 90, and beachfront properties. Most of the visitors come with classic cars.
Some do not, but they all spend money. Put Johnny and Lacriessa Revia in that camp.
“Well, we were just passing through so we stopped and paid for the motel. We've eaten. We've had some refreshments and we didn't plan to be here. So I had to go the store and buy some new clothes to wear,” Johnny said.
The Waffle House is a popular place for cruisers like James and Linda Sharpton from Tennessee. They are not bashful about dropping a few bucks. Spending on the coast this week is red hot.
“We'll spend somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 and most of it will probably be for lodging and food and gas,” James explained.
Cat Aguda lives on the coast, but plans a big party every year along the highway. His wallet is open for business.
“Eighty to 100 people come out here and join the celebration. So, I spend about $1,000 on the event on things from registration, food, gas, and expenses for t-shirts,” Aguda said.
Now the cruisers themselves admit they're spending quite a bit of money. Some from a couple of hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. But when you add it all up, over the entire eight day run of Cruisin' the Coast, the economic impact is staggering.
Woody Bailey is the director of Cruisin' the Coast.
“Nineteen point six million dollars is spent in the three coast counties and $21.2 million into the State of Mississippi overall, and those numbers have substantially increased with our registrations and the spectator base coming to this event,” Bailey explained.
One big spender is Gary Pickett from Alabama, who takes time shining up his Studebaker.
“I spent $1,000 on the motel and on the venues I'll spend money there, probably $3,000 I guess," he said.