Broadwater's Past Could Be A Best Seller - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/26/05

Broadwater's Past Could Be A Best Seller

Mike Bentley and Ryan Morris stepped out of room 393 and looked for the quickest way to the Broadwater's front archway.

"Let's just follow the path," Morris said.

The path led the two men past several oak trees that landscape the Broadwater's grounds.

Bentley often stayed in one of the Broadwater's rooms. When he heard it was closing, he rushed back for one final visit.

"I love Biloxi. And I've always love this resort," he said.

Someday Bentley's passion for the Broadwater Beach Resort may be published in a book titled, "The last Grande Dame of the coast, its past, its present and its future."

The freelance writer checked into the Broadwater this week, so he could watch the resort's final guests say goodbye to a coast treasure. While Bentley took notes, copied old newspaper articles, and purchased post cards, Morris photographed the aging property.

"There is definitely a little bit of wear and tear from the storms that came through here," he noticed through his lens. "But the architecture itself is incredible. And the light is amazing as well."

Each snapshot captured a bit of the history that made the Broadwater the area's flagship hotel.

"It's important for future generations to come and actually see what this was in Biloxi history," Morris said, "because it did mean a lot."

It certainly meant something to Mike Bentley. That's why he came back to the Broadwater for its curtain call -- to preserve its rich history.

"It has a glorious past. It has kind of a mixed present," he said. "And the future of it from what I understand from Mr. Anderson and from the people here is going to be really brilliant, really beautiful."

Mr. Anderson is Roy Anderson III, one of the two new owners of the Broadwater property. Anderson's group is demolishing the old resort, so it can build shops, condos and a new hotel. The expectation is that the new development will return the Broadwater to prominence.

by Brad Kessie

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