Bay St. Louis Shop Owners Report Brisk Business At The End Of Summer

They come from all over to try their luck, soak up some rays, and maybe play a round or two. They also come to shop. The money tourists bring adds up for downtown shop owners.

"With the economy being kind of shaky the first part of the year, and trying to decide who was going to be president, then the economy kid of slowed down, so I was expecting things to be kind of shaky," downtown business owner Micky Evans said.

But Evans says that hasn't been the case for her arts and gift shop. In fact, she says her business made between 15 to 20 percent more this summer over last.

Another business owner, Avra O'dwyer, also has a summer success story to tell.

"Business has been wonderful," O'dwyer said. "We've had more than our share of tourists. We have large groups of women who just drive over for the day anywhere from Mobile to North Louisiana."

It's any business owner's hope to have good business year-round. But traditionally after the Labor Day weekend, tourism dollars decline. Downtown business owners have a number of ideas to boasters during the slower winter months.

"We'll be having our second anniversary party in February and have light music and invite everybody," Evans said. "The second Saturday art walks will start back in April, whatever we can think of to do just to make it fun and bring people into town."

By Al Showers