Advertisement

Coast tourism board is ‘solid and strong,’ says board president

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 2:20 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - South Mississippi’s tourism board has resolved all of its misunderstandings that have previously made headlines over the last few weeks. That’s the message Coastal Mississippi Board President Brooke Shoultz emphasized in a written statement sent out Friday afternoon.

In the statement, Shoultz said all misunderstandings have been resolved and the Coastal Mississippi commissioners are dedicated to maintaining regional tourism.

“Coastal Mississippi is solid and strong. All three Coastal counties are family. We’re certainly not divided by a few bridges or misunderstandings,” stated Shoultz.

The statement came just one day after tourism board commissioners met with coastal legislative representatives to discuss the ongoing dispute.

The tourism board has been at odds over the last month following the abrupt resignation of former CEO Milton Segarra. His resignation triggered a domino effect with Hancock County commissioner Mark Henderson and Jackson County commissioners Carla Todd and Clay Wagner all resigning in the days that followed. (It should be noted that Wagner’s resignation from the board was connected to his decision to run for public office.)

Currently, the three-county commission has nine Harrison County members and three each from Jackson and Hancock counties. Several Harrison County supervisors have told WLOX News off-camera that they feel Harrison County should remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to the tourism board.

Gulf Coast gaming executives also released a joint statement calling for not only a preservation of a regional-based approach to tourism but also expressing a desire to have more input regarding coastal tourism.

Despite this in-fighting, the Coastal Mississippi board of commissioners is set to move forward.

“Since its Executive Director’s resignation last month, the Commission and its talented staff have a solid transition plan firmly in place to seamlessly continue sharing with the world our Secret Coast which we are so fortunate to call home,” said the statement from Shoultz.

Read the full statement from Board President Brooke Shoultz below:

South Mississippi’s 3 Coastal Boards of Supervisors and Tourism commissioners have resolved all misunderstandings and are 100% dedicated to maintaining regional tourism. I met face-to-face with representatives from the Hancock, Harrison and Jackson County Boards of Supervisors yesterday to clear up all misunderstandings that were causing unrest. The Coastal Legislative delegation was instrumental in opening lines of communication between counties. The Boards of Supervisors say they regret not meeting sooner during the many months of misinformation and rumors that caused tension and divide.

Coastal Mississippi is a Tri-County organization that shares with the world our ‘secret’ and draws visitors in by the millions to the stunningly beautiful and welcoming Mississippi Gulf Coast. Tourism has always been one of the largest economic engines which accounts for 20% of the state’s total operating budget. Tourism also supports countless local businesses from gas stations and snowball stands to every Casino, restaurant and mom and pop shop.

Coastal Mississippi’s recent success can be attributed to the relentless hard work and dedication of the staff that continues to knock it out of the park each day and, when the City of New Orleans shut down due to COVID, millions of dollars meant for the Big Easy came to the fresh open spaces and beautiful places here. Tourists from dozens of other states and Canada also say they cancelled their airline trips to big cities and drove here instead which also worked to our great advantage.

The Commission is comprised of 15 long-time business, hospitality, and marketing professionals from Jackson, Harrison and Hancock Counties tasked with governing Coastal Mississippi which promotes regional tourism to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and maximizes advertising dollars and global efforts of the organization. Coastal Mississippi is a ‘One Coast’ regional marketing effort established in 2013.

Since its Executive Director’s resignation last month, the Commission and its talented staff have a solid transition plan firmly in place to seamlessly continue sharing with the world our Secret Coast which we are so fortunate to call home.

Coastal Mississippi is solid and strong. All three Coastal counties are family. We’re certainly not divided by a few bridges or misunderstandings.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.