Businessman Calls Highway 63 "Moss Point's Economic Engine" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/03/05

Businessman Calls Highway 63 "Moss Point's Economic Engine"

Friday was an exciting day for Ted Speaker. He's expanding his hotel business.

Quality Inn is the newest addition to Highway 63 in Moss Point..

"I've been operating a few hotels here on 63 at I-10 for about 15 years. I saw the potential when I heard the property was for sale," Speaker says.

Speaker saw dollar signs, because he's been watching Hwy 63 continually grow.

"In about 10 years, it went from one hotel and a truck stop to nine hotels, about 10 restaurants and half a dozen gas stations," Speaker adds.

He doesn't think it'll stop there. Speaker believes growth at the Trent Lott International Airport and the newest industry, ecotourism, will keep the cars coming.

"Ecotourism is really starting to grow in this area. You know, we have that really nice facility just a mile away from here, Pelican Landing, getting a lot of people here for meetings. I feel this area's ready. I feel Moss Point's going to grow."

Speaker envisions more interstate drivers stopping for gas, looking for a quick snack, and maybe a place to get some sleep.

"The more flags at an interchange will cause more people to get off the interstate," Speaker says.

Companies hoping to cash in on that demand will want to locate on highway 63.

"Look at how 49 developed. They kept building stuff at Highway 49, more demand, more demand. Now 49 is unbelievable."

Speaker hopes people will say that same thing about Highway 63 one day too.

"I believe this is the life and blood of Moss Point, this interchange," Speaker says.

By Jaimee Goad

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