BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County supervisors on Monday approved a lease between the Coliseum and Broadwater View Partners. All that's left to do is collect a $3 million down payment from the Atlanta based developers. Then dot the i's and cross the t's on the 99-year lease that will bring in an additional $13 million dollars.
After years of trying to build a hotel on site, this deal will turn the tide for Coliseum Director Matt McDonnell.
"There are so many pieces of business in terms of conventions, trade shows, meetings that we've had to just turn away because we didn't have a headquarters hotel. So it's going to open some doors for us," McDonnell said.
The Director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Milton Segarra, couldn't agree more.
"With this new hotel, what it means is that it focuses the attention into the convention center and certainly helps other possibilities to increase and compete with those, as you say, other destinations," Segarra explained.
That hotel would be an Embassy Suites or similar brand name.
One of the problems with building the hotel on this property over the past several years has been the resistance of the hotel/motel association. They insisted that no public tax dollars be used to build a private venture. And that has now come to pass, according to McDonnell.
"There's no room guarantees where the county or the taxpayers have to pick up if they're not rented. There's not investment from the county or the taxpayers to make this deal work. It's strictly a private developer leasing land from the commission to put a hotel directly in front of the convention center," McDonnell said.
And that hotel should pay off.
"We have a constant recurring book of business. Year in, year out, our business is very constant, very stable. and it's actually grown every year over the last five years."
If everything falls into place, construction on the hotel could begin within six months, with a completion date in the Fall of 2020.