New public boat launches now open in Biloxi
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The City of Biloxi and Harrison County celebrated the opening of their new boat launches with a joint ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
“If we learned anything from COVID, it was the need for more boat launches and outdoor events and sports,” Harrison County Supervisor Beverly Martin said to the crowd.
Their goal was to have the work complete by Memorial Day weekend.
“This is Thursday, and Memorial Day weekend really starts tomorrow,” she said. “So, it’s perfect.”
The $3 million project was covered by Tidelands, city and county funds, and it was a collaborative effort between local and state leaders.
“This is exactly the cooperation that we should have, that we continue to have and we enjoy with our local leadership and how we better utilize our dollars that we collect from the taxpayers,” Senator Scott DeLano said.
Community member Randy Lee Koplin donated some of the land in honor of his father, Lee Koplin.
“We bought this property here, he and I together actually,” he said during the ceremony.
When his father moved to Biloxi in 1957, he ran two “Goofy Golf” miniature golf parks and purchased the land that once accommodated Cuco’s Restaurant.
“It’s a way of giving back for all the enjoyment I’ve had here,” Koplin said. “This is where we come every Fourth of July to shoot fireworks.”
Along with its two boat launches, the Lee Koplin Sun-n-Sand Park features a 40-space parking lot for cars, trucks and trailers.
It’s located off Highway 90 across from Treasure Bay Casino.
“There’s actually 7,600 boat owners in Harrison County,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said. “They got to put them over somewhere. This is a great place.”
Following years of planning and construction, it’s free and now open to the public to enjoy.
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