Yesterday evening we were greeted with news on WLOX TV about the Wyndham Hotel having plans to come to the Biloxi waterfront with a 24 story hotel development.
Biloxi may have found the non-gaming anchor that it needs to reinvigorate its waterfront. Wyndham Hotels presented a plan to the Biloxi City Council that would bring the world’s largest hotelier to the small craft harbor.
The story continues:
McElroy’s Seafood Restaurant was always considered a special part of Biloxi’s harbor area. But like so many other businesses, it got washed away by Hurricane Katrina.
Now, developers of the Wyndham Harbor Pointe Resort want to turn the McElroy’s site into a 400 room hotel on Biloxi’s waterfront. Wayne Hengen is McElroy’s attorney. “It’s bigger and better for everybody in the city of Biloxi, for the whole south Mississippi area for that matter. It’s the Wyndham for goodness sakes,” he told the Biloxi City Council.
Supporters of the Wyndham project showed council members a rendering of the 24 story resort that could be built in downtown Biloxi. Wyndham’s representative at the council’s special meeting was Kyle Gagne. “We love the project,” Gagne said.
The video report can be found here.
The Sun Herald filed a report on the Wyndham project in today’s edition on the project as well. Here is an excerpt:
Plans call for the Wyndham Harbour Pointe Resort to have 400 hotel rooms and suites in a 24-story tower, with the top few levels sold as private condos. Kyle Gagne, senior director of financing and managed sales for Wyndham Hotel Group, said the resort will have a four diamond restaurant, room service, catering, a spa, fitness center, high-end retail, concierge floor and meeting space.
Some of the hotel rooms will have balconies to take advantage of the views out toward the Gulf and the hotel will be circled by a brick pedestrian terrace that will double as a fire lane. The hotel footprint won’t take any of the small craft and commercial harbors, and guests will be able to see the shrimp boats and take charter boat rides to the islands and fishing trips.
That local flavor is what Wyndham customers are looking for, Gagne said. “We want to make this happen. Here. This location has to be the one,” Gagne said. Since the Wyndham won’t have a casino, the hotel would benefit from overflow guests from the neighboring Hard Rock and Beau Rivage casino resorts without competing with them.
We at slabbed are delighted to see development like the Wyndham come to Biloxi. However, we also rue the fact the Mississippi coastline appears headed for the same fate as the Florida coast where only commercial ventures and residences for the wealthy are economically possible. Those who were slabbed that are committed to rebuilding can overcome the hurdles of stringent building codes and flood mitigation. However, uncertainty regarding insurance coverage, lack of coverage options and the cost for that uncertain insurance coverage present obstacles that only the wealthy can surmount, even well off the beach.
I hope to have full time neighbors when I rebuild. The redevelopment of our coastline can not be stopped, the question is whether it will be possible for the non wealthy former residents to return to their land.