New Logo Sparks Controversy Between Biloxi And Gulfport

What's in a name? In the latest advertising campaign, a logo being used to promote the Gulf Coast is using the name Gulfport first and then Biloxi , but Mayor Holloway says he doesn't like it.

"I think it should be Biloxi/Gulfport if they're going to put any names on it, because Biloxi is the tourism city of the state of Mississippi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway said. "We have the rooms; we have the attractions."

He believes in this so much that he's sent a letter to the Harrison County Tourism Director asking for a change in the logo. The letter states, "Biloxi, by far has the widest name recognition. We have the majority of the museums and other visitor attractions, the majority of the lodging and hence, the largest number of visitors."

But, the executive director of the tourism commission says this isn't about name recognition; it's about geography.

"People didn't really understand where we were, so if you do that you start off in the west in New Orleans you go further east you hit Gulfport, then you hit Biloxi and then finally you hit Mobile," Harrison County Tourism Director Steve Richer said.

Richer also is quick to point out that the tourism commission is trying to promote flying into the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport , and that on every advertisement where the logo is used you'll also find a separate ad promoting Biloxi as one of the three top new U.S. hot spots.

"We try to promote Biloxi because it's a top destination, and we try and promote the airport and we try and promote the whole coast," Richer said.

Gulfport Mayor Bob Short says it's not which city gets top billing that's important.

"We don't need to be arguing about which city is first on the logo," Mayor Short said. "We just need to be promoting the whole Mississippi Gulf Coast."

Mayor Holloway wants the logo changed to either list Biloxi before Gulfport, or list all Harrison County cities in alphabetical order.