Holiday Weekend Equals Happy Hotels

From the outside, the Edgewater Inn in Biloxi looks pretty quiet, but don't let the calm look fool you. By the end of this Memorial Day weekend, Karen Potter is expecting the inn's 65 rooms to be filled.

"We're getting people coming in slowly and surely. We have some coming in Friday, Saturday, then we have other reservations for Saturday and Sunday. We're having a good outlook going on here," said Potter.

Down the street, the Holiday Inn Express shares the same good outlook.

That's where Vershenda Jones and 35 of her family members from Jackson, Mississippi, were checking in to have a good time for the weekend.

"Just to have fun basically. Bring the children and let them enjoy themselves," said ones.

Vershenda may not know it, but she, along with the hundreds of other out-of-town visitors, is bringing success to South Mississippi's hotel-motel industry.

"It's a tremendous business weekend. We all look forward to it. We wish it could go on like this for eternity," said Holiday Inn Express Biloxi general manager Rick Rabalais.

Well, according to Harrison County Tourism Director Steve Richer, maybe it can.

"We're no longer a summer destination, we're a year-round destination, so this is just going to be one of those really big weekends with a lot of different folks here," said Richer.

He says a lot of people are coming to the Mississippi Gulf Coast not just for the casinos, but for the beach, entertainment, and other family-oriented events.

And with options like those, he believes this Memorial Day weekend may just be the beginning of something positively big for hotels, and for all of South Mississippi.

Just so you know, AAA estimates 37 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. That's a 2 percent increase of travelers from last year.