Vacant Tivoli Hotel Looks For New Owners - - The News for South Mississippi

Vacant Tivoli Hotel Looks For New Owners

A walk inside the old Tivoli Hotel is a walk back in time. If you ignore the dirt and study the interior archway, you can appreciate why people thought the Tivoli was a special place.

In its heyday, the Tivoli Hotel played host to wedding receptions, private parties and Mardi Gras galas. But now you walk through the structure and all you see is decay. Crumbling walls, broken mirrors and chandeliers that are falling apart are the result of years of neglect. Homeless people often stay in these boarded up rooms.

Despite what you see, Tivoli owner Jerry Kelly sees a bright future for the historic but empty hotel.

"The land is worth much more than what we're asking for it," Kelly said. "Come on down, let's make a deal."

The asking price to buy the Tivoli is $7 million. For that price, you get a four-acre waterfront property near Point Cadet, an empty hotel on the national register of historic places, and a still operating motel. Kelly is optimistic that somebody will buy the Tivoli.

"I think it's going to happen. I think this museum project next door is going to be a big plus."

The museum project is the new Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art next to Tullis Manor. It could be the catalyst to bring the Tivoli back to life.

"But until you have a deposit," Kelly told us, "you don't have a deal. A lot of people are talking."

The Tivoli sits behind the Biloxi Yacht Club, right between five casinos. It's owner always thought that fact made the hotel a valuable asset to the casino industry. That hasn't been the case.

"I'm a little puzzled about that," Kelly said. "It seems like all the casinos wanted new hotels." And Jerry Kelly owns an old hotel that hasn't had a paying guest in 15 years.

The Tivoli Hotel is one of 73,000 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places .

by Brad Kessie

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