GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Kevin Buckle is the Director of Marketing for Ship Island and he says since the spring excursions to the island began a little over a month ago, business has been great.
"We had a great season last year and we're expecting this season to exceed last season. You know, it all depends on the weather but tourism has been up," Buckle said.
He says because the heavy crowds continue to increase with each excursion season, they're working on making some improvements.
"It's just preventive maintenance and staying on top of keeping the dock 100%," he said, "basically we approached the city about needing to make some improvements to the pier and they're working with us to approve a resolution that would help offset some of the costs of the improvements that we want to make to the dock."
Buckle says the idea of the maintenance project is to make the standing piers stronger, so when their big excursion boats are tied up. That way they will stay more secure and won't get banged up by hitting the piers when bad weather conditions make their way through the gulf coast.
"Basically what we're going to do is bring a barge in and we're going to drop some pylons into the existing pier, to reinforce the pier. And that helps when we have big winds or storms are coming through and we tie up the boats," he said.
Buckle says if the city gives them the needed approval, the dock will look better, be stronger and also safer for the thousands of visitors. Buckle says the Gulfport city council is supposed to approve the resolution for their pier repair project at their next meeting, which is Tuesday, April 7th.