Biloxi's White House Hotel set to reopen in June

Published: Feb. 18, 2014 at 1:24 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2014 at 11:50 PM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It should re-open in mid-June. That's the word from developers of the historic White House Hotel in Biloxi.

If you've driven by the White House Hotel lately, you've seen plenty of construction work underway. It's hard to believe that historic landmark is finally being revived, after sitting vacant for some 30 years.

The new White House will be a specialty, or so-called boutique hotel. Construction crews are now busy throughout the property.

"Things are really going fast now. We're going to start dry walling all the rooms. So once we start doing that, it's just going to take on its own and take off from there," said Cono Caranna, the general manager of the new hotel.

The refurbished hotel will feature 76 rooms, including two and three bedroom units and a honeymoon suite.

While the project includes new construction, preservation is also a key element of bringing this landmark to life.

"We're taking some of the old flooring from the original hotel. We're taking some of the old tongue and groove from the upstairs area. We're going to re-purpose that in different areas of the hotel. So, we'll bring the old to the new," said Caranna.

"We've got tons of crews, doing everything from electrical to plumbing.  It's all coming together at the same time," said Bill Yockey.

Yockey is co-owner and manager of the fine dining restaurant that's part of the project. It will be named after Cora White, the original proprietor.

"We have about 100 seats total for the restaurant. And then another 32 bar stools and a huge seating area; if you want to come in with friends and just sit down and enjoy cocktails, you can," said Yockey.

One thing the new White House plans to cater to is weddings. With its manicured grounds, beautiful views and historic touch, Caranna says it's the perfect spot to get married.

"The community is really behind this. Everybody's been stopping by taking pictures and kind of looking as we go. So, we're excited to open and let everybody come inside to see what we did," said Caranna.

There have been several attempts to restore the old White House over the years. All of those previous efforts have failed for various reasons. Those involved in this latest restoration are confident it will succeed.

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