Economic Struggles Send One Ship Island Ferry Sailing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Economic Struggles Send One Ship Island Ferry Sailing

The owners and employees of Ship Island Excursion are thankful for every smiling face they see. But these days, they're not seeing nearly enough of them. Captain Louis Skrmetta knew business would be slower after hurricane Katrina.  

"I tell you, it's been rough," says Skrmetta. "We knew business was going to be bad but we didn't realize it was going to be quite as bad as it has been."

But dropping from an average of 65 thousand passengers a year, to an estimated 30 thousand this year, has forced the Skrmetta family to take some drastic measures to keep their 80 year old business afloat.  

"We see the handwriting on the wall," says Skrmetta. "During the next 3 to 4 years we can get by with 2 vessels, so we have to sale one of the boats so we decided to go on and sale the Captain Pete."

Skrmetta sites the lack of hotel rooms, which were destroyed in hurricane Katrina, as the primary reason for the dismal tourist season.  

"They have to have hotels down here. Folks just aren't going to come unless we have overnight accommodations for them."    

Skrmetta says the only thing keeping their 2 remaining boats filled is relief workers.  

"Our Business would we non-existent if it weren't for the visitors down here helping folks."

Skrmetta says all they can do for now is cut costs, and await a return to smooth sailing.

The Captain Pete is named for Skrmetta's Grandfather, who started the business in 1926. The asking price is one million dollars.

by Don Culpepper

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Pass police chief talks safety for upcoming parade

    Pass police chief talks safety for upcoming parade

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:14 AM EST2018-01-20 15:14:45 GMT
    This is a photo from police on the scene after the shooting in 2016. (Photo source: WLOX News)This is a photo from police on the scene after the shooting in 2016. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    Officials in Pass Christian are already making plans for tighter security at this year's annual Mardi Gras parade. Part of that decision comes just two years after a fatal shooting at the parade claimed the lives of two men and left multiple others injured.

    More >>

    Officials in Pass Christian are already making plans for tighter security at this year's annual Mardi Gras parade. Part of that decision comes just two years after a fatal shooting at the parade claimed the lives of two men and left multiple others injured.

    More >>
  • Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Three people shot at Biloxi nightclub

    Saturday, January 20 2018 9:31 AM EST2018-01-20 14:31:56 GMT
    Wayna Scott, 21 of Gautier, is charged in an overnight shooting Friday at a Biloxi nightclub. (Source: Biloxi Police Dept)Wayna Scott, 21 of Gautier, is charged in an overnight shooting Friday at a Biloxi nightclub. (Source: Biloxi Police Dept)

    A Gautier man is now behind bars after a nightclub shooting in Biloxi left three people injured overnight Friday.

    More >>

    A Gautier man is now behind bars after a nightclub shooting in Biloxi left three people injured overnight Friday.

    More >>
  • Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Two arrested for burglary and restaurant fire, police say

    Friday, January 19 2018 9:43 PM EST2018-01-20 02:43:18 GMT
    Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)Police say the suspects took a safe and a cash register before setting the restaurant ablaze. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>

    Two men have been arrested after they allegedly stole from a Saucier restaurant and set the building on fire. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly