HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Long-time Coast Coliseum Executive Director Bill Holmes got a big thank you and send off Wednesday by the people who knew him best.
He was honored during a joint meeting of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association and the Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association for his 38 years of service.
Holmes became executive director in 1985.
In all those years, he's overseen thousands of graduations, concerts, fairs, expos and conventions.
His last day will be Aug. 31.
But before then, the tourism industry wanted to give him its own honor with a plaque and a pink toy hotel with cutouts of Holmes enjoying his retirement.
"Awards are really nice, but every day the gratification of doing successful events, booking big concerts, making good experiences for our people, you can't buy that," he said. "That's all in your heart."
Matt McDonnell, assistant executive director since 1986, was selected in June as the new executive director.
He officially took over on July 1.