PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - In the nearly 11 years since Hurricane Katrina ripped Pass Christian apart, the city continues to progress.
If there is any doubt about its comeback, Mayor Chipper McDermott had this to say at Wednesday's Breakfast with The Mayor: "Go take a look around the city".
That look will include new hotels.
"Two of them already under construction, and a third is on the way," said McDermott. "The last time you had a hotel built in downtown Pass Christian was 1925."
Since October 1, the city has put $1 million into capital improvements. In addition to spending $200,000 on paving, the city also purchased a patch truck, sweeper, and new vehicles for the police and fire departments.
The improvements aren't going unnoticed.
"When you walk the streets of Pass Christian and see the beautiful construction going on, you see businesses open and vibrant. It's a wonderful change," said Beth John.
Despite the progress, some longtime residents say there's still more work to left to do.
"The only thing I'd like to see a little bit more, and they are already doing it, is getting these slabs cleaned up." said Lee Kalik. "These properties that are still overrun."
Robin's Nest in the Pass owner Dorothy Roberts says the beachfront remains a challenge.
"Unfortunately, we're not going to probably see that kind of re-development on the beachfront because of the fact that you have to rise up so high," Roberts said.
Leaders say insurance costs are possibly the biggest challenge.
"People [are] not able to afford to raise their homes as high as they need to be and afford the cost of the insurance here on the Coast," said Amy Rishel, who works for the city's Main Street program.
Despite the challenges, the feeling of optimism continues to grow in the city.
About 100 chamber members and civic leaders attended the event, which was sponsored by the Long Beach-Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce.