New hotel gives Hancock Co. tourism an economic boost - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New hotel gives Hancock Co. tourism an economic boost

The Silver Slipper Casino opened its new hotel Memorial Day Weekend with 96 rooms; 24 additional rooms are being readied for customers before the 4th of July. And nine penthouse suites are expected to open by the end of summer. (Photo source: WLOX) The Silver Slipper Casino opened its new hotel Memorial Day Weekend with 96 rooms; 24 additional rooms are being readied for customers before the 4th of July. And nine penthouse suites are expected to open by the end of summer. (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County tourism leaders expect to see a major increase in the money they receive from a two percent room tax collected there. And they say a new hotel in the county can't help but boost those numbers.

The Silver Slipper Casino opened its new hotel Memorial Day Weekend with 96 rooms; 24 additional rooms are being readied for customers before the 4th of July. And nine penthouse suites are expected to open by the end of summer.

"What is opened has been sold out almost from day one and everybody is just loving it. Totally booked on weekends, but a lot of sell outs during the week also," said Myrna Green, Manager of the Hancock County Tourism Bureau.

That's good news to the Hancock County Tourism Bureau and its partner, the Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Bureau. The Tourism Bureau receives funds from a two percent room tax levied on the lodging establishments throughout Hancock County.

Tourism leaders say a new hotel property in the county means more money to advertise and promote what Hancock County has to offer visitors.

"With a two percent room tax, it can't help but make a terrific impact," said Green.

Green also said the new hotel is allowing tourists to extend their stay in Hancock County. Instead of a day trip, many are staying overnight for two or three days, and in some cases more. And that, she says, is good news for the local economy.

"It has helped us a lot," said Julie Kosbab, Co-Owner of Kent & Sue's, a convenience store just a couple of miles from the Slipper's hotel. She says ever since it opened, they've seen a lot more out-of-state tags at their business.

"Mostly Louisiana people. They are mainly here to gas up and for directions, so we know that they are staying there. It has been an increase financially and we have seen a major difference," said Kosbab.

The 900+ rooms in Hancock County generate about $110,000 a year from the room tax. However, tourism leaders expect that number to grow with the new casino hotel in town.

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