Broadwater Sold; End Of An Era Is Just Months Away - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/15/05

Broadwater Sold; End Of An Era Is Just Months Away

The Broadwater's ownership change just happened to coincide with the retirement of its oldest employee.

Cornettel Stewart -- affectionately known as Captain Stewart -- became a Broadwater porter back in 1946. And he's been a fixture at the resort ever since.

"Anytime you're able to get up in the morning without any help, it's a good day," Stewart said before his final shift started. "So I think it's a good day."

For 59 years, Captain Stewart was a driving force at the Broadwater Resort.

"It was a wonderful place," he said with a smile.

Stewart was on the job in 1946 -- right after Pete Martin built the Broadwater. He was there in the 50s when the Brown family turned the Broadwater into Biloxi's flagship resort.

Celebrities often stayed here. So did President Nixon.

"I was his butler overnight," Stewart remembered.

Captain Stewart's last day on the job just happened to be the same day two local investors bought the Broadwater out of bankruptcy and promised to somehow rebuild it to prominence.

"The only thing I can say, I hope it's a success," he said. "I hope they can beautify the place like it was. I hope they can bring it back like it was."

Since Stewart was retiring, he was asked if it was time for the Broadwater to retire.

"No. I hope it will keep going," he said.

Captain Stewart knows that's not likely. He knows a wrecking ball will eventually tear down the aging hotel.

But in his heart, he also knows the Broadwater's best days are ahead of it.

"Biloxi is ready for some business from the Broadwater," he said.

The new Broadwater owners have hired a firm to design a master plan for the resort. According to Roy Anderson, those drawing should be finished in the next few weeks.

by Brad Kessie

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