BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Coast Coliseum and Convention Center has been on a mission to bring a convention hotel to the property for years. Potential deals have come and gone.
Officials at the Coast Coliseum and Convention Center continue to insist that it's critical to build a hotel on the property to maximize the potential of the facility.
"It opens us up for more opportunities to book different types of events and conventions. Some conventions have a key requirement that they have to have a host hotel adjacent to the convention center," said Coliseum Director Matt McDonnell.
A variety of plans have been pursued and they all involved building on the old Holiday Inn property on Highway 90 and to the southwest of the arena and convention center. That site would carry a price tag of around $4 million.
McDonnell says one option is to create a hotel site on land they already own in the parking lot in front of the convention center.
"A lot of convention delegates don't want to have to walk far to go from their hotel rooms to meeting space of exhibit space. This would satisfy that issue," noted McDonnell. "You would have views of the Gulf of Mexico. You would be within walking distance of Highway 90. Depending on how transportation evolves over the next five or 10 years that would be an amenity by putting the hotel closer to the convention center."
If that concept evolves, the coliseum may have to buy out some homeowners on the west side of the parking lot. McDonnell says financing the hotel has always been a sticking point, and a multi-million dollar investment would require a mixture of public and private capital.
"Money would come primarily from private developers. However, in most cities when you have a hotel built directly to impact a convention center, which also helps other hotels, restaurants and shopping, those hotels normally are produced by partnerships with cities, counties and even states," McDonnell added.
McDonnell also noted that there are no solid proposals on the table at this time.