There is a new effort underway to change people's perception of downtown Biloxi. Earlier this month the group Mainstreet Biloxi launched a campaign called "Discover Downtown." Officials say the goal is to show there is more to the area than being just a place to go to work.
Members of Mainstreet Biloxi say all work and no play makes for a slow stream of customers in downtown after-hours and on weekends. That's why for next few weeks banners along with radio and newspaper ads will encourage people discover downtown's opportunities for enjoyment like dining, shopping, living, nightlife and so on.
"Everything that you possibly do downtown that you don't think about just as a place to come to work from nine to five," said Mainstreet Biloxi executive director Bill Raymond, "but a place that you can do a lot of things seven days a week, twenty four hours a day."
Raymond says a constant stream of people will help merchants like Pat Peresich. Peresich has been running this train shop for the past 10 years. While he doesn't expect an overnight success, he says the "Discover Downtown" campaign is on the right track to bringing more people to the area.
Peresich said, "We have some much to offer in downtown Biloxi and most people that aren't familiar with downtown Biloxi are missing a lot. They need to come down and take a look."
Maintstreet members say the health of downtown affects the city as a whole, and they believe once people "Discover Downtown" the first time, they'll come back time and time again.Raymond says his group also what people consider to be downtown. He says most people think only of the area around the Vieux Marche, but Mainstreet considers downtown to extend over to Porter Avenue.