Labor Day tourism off to slow start, but there still may be time

Labor Day tourism off to slow start, but there still may be time

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Although the weather is wonderful at the moment, some businesses are wondering if the area can make up for lost time.

Officials say there are a lot of hotel rooms available for the Labor Day weekend. But, the signs aren't very good - at least for now.

Kenny Glavan, director of operations for Margaritaville, says it's just a slow start.

"With our portfolio from Gulfport to Biloxi, we're really going to be tracking a sell out by the end of the day," said Glavan.

The steady stream at the resort's hotel check-in counter seems to back up his prediction.

"I think what you'll see after this weekend is finished is that we'll probably be a little bit better than last year," he added.

Good weather was a motivation for visitors.

"We came out at the last minute," said Louisiana resident Brian Linxwiler. "Kind of worried about the weather over in Texas and what's going on over there, but we decided to head east and the weather's been great and we've been enjoying it."

Joshua Gandy of Hattiesburg also made a last-minute decision to come to the Coast.

"We looked up and the weather was going to be fine," Gandy said. "So, we decided just to make a little family trip."

But, the owner of one of the best-known tourism retail business says the holiday weekend likely won't break any records.

"Yesterday, we were close to 50 percent down in our gross sales," said J.J. Pierotich. "And the whole week, we've been down tremendously."

However, Pierotich admits sales are starting to pick up. In fact, he says any kind of business would be good.

"We feel fortunate to be open and have what we have since we did not have the storm that just got to Texas," Pierotich said.

Arkansas resident David Meyer says his trip was planned months in advance, and he wasn't likely to back out of his first trip to the Coast.

"We just heard it was a beautiful area and that the people down here were great to be around," Meyer said. "Since we've been here, we've met nothing but nice folks. And we've been treated very well down here. Very respectful, very nice place. Very beautiful, good place to come to and visit."

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