Marina business owners say they're losing customers for lack of a sign

Published: Mar. 27, 2015 at 10:38 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Some Biloxi business owners say a lack of signage has turned into a large loss in revenue, and they want something done about it.

Several business owners who operate out of the Biloxi Point Cadet Marina said the public marina is not very visible from Highway 90 because it's tucked behind a casino. For many years, there was an 8x8 sign at the road near the foot of the Biloxi Bay Bridge that directed people where to turn to find charter boats and a fuel dock.

However, two and half years ago, business owners said that sign was taken down during remodeling of the Golden Nugget Casino and never put back up. Business owners said customers often get lost and confused.

Charter boat captains at Point Cadet Marina said they are not getting anywhere near the number of customers that charter boats at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor are getting.

"Not only do they have signs at the Small Craft Harbor, but it's open and people driving by Highway 90 can see them," said Capt. Jay Trochesset with Silver Dollar Charters. "Here, we don't have a sign and you can look back there and see we're locked in from concrete. Nobody knows we're here. So, in the charter boat business, you get a certain amount of walk up business. We get no walk up business here."

Danny Pitalo owns Gorenflo's Tackle & Marina Store, as well as a fuel dock.

"We have about 11 or 12 businesses that work out here. The charter boats and as far as myself with the tackle shop and the fuel dock," said Pitalo. "We're just trying to get something put back on the highway to let people know that we're here. Still here."

WLOX reached out to the Golden Nugget and General Manger Chet Harrison released a statement.

"Golden Nugget Biloxi's local management team has never been approached directly by any representative from Gorenflo's Tackle & Marina Store, but was made aware of complaints about signage from city officials earlier this year," said Harrison. "While Golden Nugget's existing site signage package does include directional signage to both the bait shop and the marina, we are evaluating an additional signage package to be located closer to our entrance. From day one, we have been excellent partners with Point Cadet Marina and its tenants, bringing new life to events such as the Billfish Classic and Southern Kingfish Association's Nationals series, while offering sponsorships to local events such Gorenflo's 29th Annual Cobia Tournament, while at the same time investing over $100 million to help revitalize the point in East Biloxi."

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